Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Aimee Ferraro


Since the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) was first reported in Sierra Leone in 1987, its prevalence rate has stabilized at 1.5% in the nation's general population. However, concerns exist regarding the potential increase in high-risk populations, particularly among mineworkers and commercial sex workers. The potential spread of HIV/AIDS as a result of labor migration may threaten the mining sector, which has been identified as a critical driver of recent economic growth and development. A gap remains in the literature regarding the contextual factors in mining communities that lead to high rates of HIV/AIDS. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to quantitatively examine the association between labor migration and of sexual risk behaviors among mineworkers in the Marampa Mines in Lunsar, Sierra Leone. Grounded in the ecological model and using a cross-sectional design, 296 mineworkers from the Marampa mining communities were surveyed using a standardized survey questionnaire. Research questions were answered using simple linear and binary logistic regression analyses. Analyses of the results indicated a significant relationship between labor migration and condom self-efficacy, where migrants were predicted to have condom self-efficacy scores 7 times higher than nonmigrants. However, the results showed no statistically significant relationship between labor migration and engagement in multiple sexual partnerships and commercial sex among the mineworkers. These findings will provide important implications for positive social change in the development of multilevel HIV intervention programs to reduce sexual risk behaviors that transmit HIV, thereby improving the health and wellbeing of miners and that of their partners and families in the mining communities.