Date of Conferral





Health Services


Monica Gordon


Vulnerable populations, including immigrants, are often at risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection because of their risk-taking behaviors. This study investigated risk-taking behavior for HIV infection among Sub-Saharan African (SSA) immigrants in United States. Using social capital as a theoretical foundation, the study aimed to address the question, is there any association between social capital assets of educational opportunity, employment, and eligibility for social assistance and HIV risk-taking behavior, defined as condom use before sex (CUBS) among SSA immigrant in the U.S? Potential participants were recruited through religious and social organizations in a southwestern US state. The survey generated 167 responses. The majority of the participants were Nigerians, single females, and Christians, with monthly income of more than {dollar}500.00. Analysis using Chi square statistic and unconditional logistic regression model showed that those without education opportunity were more likely to use condom but no significant association existed between social assistance opportunity and CUBS. Employed participants were 83 times more likely than those who were unemployed to use a condom before sex. Being employed was the strongest indicator of HIV risk-taking avoidance behavior among SSA immigrants in the U.S. This study provides insight into risk-taking behaviors among SSA immigrants. This information can be used by providers of services to immigrants and other vulnerable populations in the U.S., policy makers, and social advocacy groups that target HIV prevention. Implications for social change included the recognition of employment as a deterrent to HIV risk-taking behaviors among vulnerable populations.