This article implies that "when you’re meeting a guy for casual sex, the pool of people you have to choose from is smaller" and this is something which "allows HIV and other STIs to spread quickly among [the gay and bi community]". Is there any truth to this claim, especially from a more rigorous ecological viewpoint with a mathematical backing? Will, all else equal, a smaller more connected community (as opposed to the larger heterosexual community, which is less connected presumably because the pool to choose mates from is much larger) have higher rates of transmission of infectious diseases, and can this be shown to be true? With all else equal I mean same number of sexual partners, same initial disease prevalence etc., so the community's size and connectedness can be shown to be causal factors in accelerating the rate of disease transmission.

We’re more closely connected than you might think.

Image used in the article to graphically convey the connectedness

The reality is that there are fewer gay and bi guys than there are straight men and women. So when you’re meeting a guy for casual sex, the pool of people you have to choose from is smaller. This makes gay and bi guys much more closely connected, sexually, than the rest of the population. It also allows HIV and other STIs to spread quickly among us.

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    $\begingroup$ Please repost this with another, non-gay example. There's no evidence to suggest that the gay community is smaller than other communities. Small towns have small communities, religious groups have small communities, etc. The question follows the "loaded question" logical fallacy, where answering the questions would imply that the premise is correct. There is no evidence to suggest that the premise is correct. And given that gay communities are marginalized, abused communities that are still discriminated and perpetrated against, I think this is a question needs to be rewritten. $\endgroup$ – Chris Moore Apr 28 at 19:52
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    $\begingroup$ @ChrisMoore Smaller in the sense there are less gay people than straight people and thus the pool of gay individuals is smaller (which is what the article mentions), and this sense of smallness seems self-evidently true. $\endgroup$ – CheapWill Apr 28 at 21:23
  • $\begingroup$ That makes the unfounded assumption that both populations freely mix: they don't. That is, there aren't 2 groups of sexually-active people, gay & straight, with a probability if being sexually active with one another as $\frac{1}{\text{group size}}$. There're literally thousands-to-millions of examples of discrete, different-sized groups, that transmit disease. I think it's a good question that I'm really happy to answer, but it's a bad and misleading example in addition to potentially harmful. Perhaps a better example would be the spread of the flu on islands of different sizes? $\endgroup$ – Chris Moore Apr 28 at 21:36

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