Date of Conferral





Health Services


Micheal Brunet


HIV/AIDS studies mostly lack distinction between the US-born Blacks and non-US-born Blacks while African Americans (AAs) continues to represent the group with the heaviest burden of AIDS deaths and new diagnosis of HIV. A review of studies on HIV infection in the US, Europe, and other Western countries revealed a knowledge gap on HIV infection with non-refugee African immigrants (NRAIs), especially the Nigerian African Immigrants (NAIs) who are non-US-born Blacks. The purpose of this descriptive phenomenological study is to address this gap by exploring the expressed views of NAIs, a sub-group of the NRAIs living in Houston, Texas, on the issue of HIV infection. In a qualitative research design, 13 NAI individuals aged 18 to 49 were purposively selected for a face-to-face interview. The health belief model provided the conceptual framework for the development of study questions and analysis of the gathered data using the phenomenological approach. The study findings showed that 90% of the participants have knowledge of HIV infection. Even though 100% of the participants acknowledged the severity of unprotected sex and multiple sexual relationships in the acquisition of HIV, 27% engaged in multiple sexual relationships and there was inconsistent use of condoms in 64% of the participants. The participants expressed low levels of perception regarding the threat of contracting HIV in their relationships. Evidence of sexual mixing was found in about 61% of the study participants. This study provided an opportunity for future research with NAIs, an upcoming set of immigrants, in the US. The study also highlighted how knowledge of the NAIs' culture and language can be used in promoting preventative interventions like the use of condoms and HIV testing.