Methods: In 2017 and 2018, 116 YSMM (18-24-year-olds) were recruited in Los Angeles, CA to participate in an online study. Sixty-eight participants were recruited using venue-based probability sampling 48 using GSNA-based probability sampling. Men were stratified and compared as four groups (i.e., only GSNA user, only venue user, venues and GSNA user, and use neither). These groups were compared using chi square analysis for difference in substance use (lifetime use and last 30 use) and sexual risk (i.e., ever having an HIV test, unprotected sex at last sexual encounter, and substance use at last sexual encounter).
Results: The sample was 46% only GSNA user, 8% only venue user, 34% GSNA and venue user, and 11% using neither. Results indicate that venue and GSNA users report higher rates of lifetime drug use, and recent alcohol, hard drug, and prescription drug misuse compared to users of only GSNA. There were no significant differences in sexual risk between the four groups.
Conclusions and Implications: GSNA may not increase risk for YSMM. Instead, users of traditional gay venues and GSNA represent the highest risk profile for substance use. GSNA may provide social opportunities outside of a venue contexts where substances are more readily used. As the YSMM community is becoming increasingly digital, research should prioritize the use of recruitment methodologies that include YSMM who only use GSNA.