Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Peter Anderson


African American men who have sex with men (AAMSM) are at a greater risk of contracting HIV than any other ethnic group, subpopulation, or race. Personal, environmental, and social variables can affect risk behavior. Driven by Beck's cognitive theory of depression, this quantitative study examined the relationship between depression and HIV risk behaviors in a sample of AAMSM (n = 108). Data was gathered via the Beck Depression Inventory and the HIV Risk Behavior Questionnaire. Simple and multiple linear regression analysis were conducted to analyze the data to determine the correlation between HIV risk behavior and depression. According to study findings, there was no significant relationship found between depression and HIV risk behavior in this sample of AAMSM after accounting for the variance associated with the covariates: age, alcohol and substance use, condom attitudes, HIV knowledge, and income. While the study findings do not indicate depressive symptoms were associated with HIV sexual risk behavior, age, alcohol or drug use, and condom attitudes were significantly and positively related to HIV sexual risk behavior. Future research is recommended to identify factors specific to AAMSM for use in devising African American MSM-centric interventions. The results could inform the development of interventions targeting older AAMSM to alter behaviors associated with alcohol and drug use to impact sexual risk behaviors and reduce HIV transmission in AAMSM, thus resulting in positive social change in their lives and the lives of their families and communities.