Men who have sex with men: An approach to social network analysis

First published: 10 October 2022



Dating apps for men who have sex with men (MSM) have favored unprotected sexual encounters; other unsafe practices, including drug use, are widespread. No evidence is available from the perspective of the structure of their relationships, a personal aspect included in all nursing meta-paradigms.


To study the structure of MSM networks through dating and contact applications and this relationship to risky sexual activities such as condom use, chemsex (sex while using drug), and group sex.


Descriptive cross-sectional study.


A total of 32 MSM participants from Madrid (Spain).


Socio-demographic and structural variables with Social Network Analysis (SNA) metrics. Data on condom use, drug use during encounters, and group sex were included.


Twenty-five percent of respondents practiced chemsex, and 75% of these used poppers. MSM with higher socioeconomic status participated in group sex sessions more frequently than those with lower socioeconomics. Within the network analysis, the relationships strong showed greater ease in having unprotected anal intercourse.


SNA can be effective in the study of MSM sexual networks and their risk behaviors for community nurses to improve their interventions in sexual health promotion.