A cross-sectional description of social capital in an international sample of persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH)
1 Clinical Research Scholar, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-4904, USA
2 University of British Columbia School of Nursing, Vancouver, Canada
3 University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing, San Francisco, USA
4 Rutgers College of Nursing, Newark, USA
5 Yale University, New Haven, USA
6 MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, USA
7 University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico
8 Global Health and Academic Partnerships, Brigham and Women's Hospital and MGH, Institute of Health Professions, Boston, USA
9 Hunter College, CUNY, Hunter Bellevue SON, New York, USA
10 University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, USA
11 Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, USA
12 Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, USA
13 University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia
14 Center for Nursing Research, Seton Family of Hospitals, Austin, USA
15 Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University, Bangkok, Thailand
16 UCSF, San Francisco, USA
17 UCSF School of Nursing - Community Health Systems, San Francisco, USA
18 University of Washington, Saettle, USA
19 Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, USA
BMC Public Health 2012, 12:188 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-188Published: 13 March 2012
Social capital refers to the resources linked to having a strong social network. This concept plays into health outcomes among People Living with HIV/AIDS because, globally, this is a highly marginalized population. Case studies show that modifying social capital can lead to improvements in HIV transmission and management; however, there remains a lack of description or definition of social capital in international settings. The purpose of our paper was to describe the degree of social capital in an international sample of adults living with HIV/AIDS.
We recruited PLWH at 16 sites from five countries including Canada, China, Namibia, Thailand, and the United States. Participants (n = 1,963) completed a cross-sectional survey and data were collected between August, 2009 and December, 2010. Data analyses included descriptive statistics, factor analysis, and correlational analysis.
Participant's mean age was 45.2 years, most (69%) identified as male, African American/Black (39.9%), and unemployed (69.5%). Total mean social capital was 2.68 points, a higher than average total social capital score. Moderate correlations were observed between self-reported physical (r = 0.25) and psychological condition (r = 0.36), social support (r = 0.31), and total social capital. No relationships between mental health factors, including substance use, and social capital were detected.
This is the first report to describe levels of total social capital in an international sample of PLWH and to describe its relationship to self-reported health in this population.