The Relationship Between Social Support, HIV Serostatus, and Perceived Likelihood of Being HIV Positive Among Self-Settled Female, Foreign Migrants in Cape Town, South Africa

Margaret Giorgio, Loraine Townsend, Yanga Zembe, Mireille Cheyip, Sally Guttmacher, Farzana Kapadia, Cathy Mathews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Female cross-border migrants experience elevated risks for HIV, and migrants in South Africa may face additional risks due to the country’s underlying HIV prevalence. These risks may be mitigated by the receipt of social support. A behavioral risk-factor survey was administered using respondent-driven sampling. Multivariable regression models assessed the relationships between social support and two HIV outcomes: HIV serostatus and perceived HIV status. Low social support was not significantly associated with HIV status (aOR = 1.03, 95 % CI 0.43–2.46), but was significantly related to a perception of being HIV positive (aPR = 1.36, 95 % CI 1.04–1.78). Age, marital status, and education level were significantly associated with HIV serostatus. Illegal border-crossing, length of time in South Africa, anal sex, and transactional sex were significantly associated with aperception of being HIV positive. Future research should investigate how HIV risks and the receipt of social support change throughout the migration process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)883-890
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017



  • Gender
  • HIV
  • Migration
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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