A Study on Factors That Drive Variation in the Levels of Social Capital Among People Living With HIV/AIDS in Iran

Shahnaz Rimaz, Zahra Nikooseresht, Samera Vesali, Saharnaz Nedjat, Mohsen Asadi-Lari


Introduction: Social capital is increasingly used in relation to health issues, particularly in sexually transmitted diseases/infections and health behaviors. Experiences indicated that social capital can contribute in changing HIV related risk behaviors and a decline of HIV infection through social groups and networking and make more effective use of HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment services. We aimed to assess social capital in these persons through a quantitative study.

Method: This cross-sectional study was performed with a convenience sample of 300 people living HIV/AIDS referred to a counseling center of behavioral diseases, in Imam Khomeini Hospital, in Tehran, the capital of Iran, during September 2011 to May 2012.

Data collection tools were a demographic questionnaire and World Bank Social Capital Questionnaire (SC-IQ). The analysis of data was performed by the SPSS statistic software version 18. To identify factors influencing social capital in participations, Pearson correlation coefficient, ANOVA, t-test, and a multiple regression were applied. The significant level was considered 0.05 in this study.

Results: 165 (55%) were male and the rest female. The mean age of participants was 34.3±7.5. The mean score of total social capital was 2.34±0.5 in all participants. The domain of individual trust had the highest mean score (2.53±0.66). The lowest mean score was related to the domain of social trust and associative relations (2.23±0.62). Variables such as ethnicity, age, and middle economic status had a significant impact on the domain of individual trust so that the mean score of this component of social capital was lower among women (0.396) than men. Factors affecting total social capital were ethnicity and middle economic status.

Conclusion: Finding emphasized on the role of economic status, ethnicity and gender in persons living with HIV/AIDS. Thus recommended that policy makers and program managers consider social groups and networks, especially in women in the design and delivery of intervention strategies to reduce HIV transmission.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/gjhs.v7n3p351

Global Journal of Health Science   ISSN 1916-9736(Print)   ISSN 1916-9744(Online)

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