Understanding pathways: exploring social capital measures and their links to health outcomes

Fiona Samuels, International HIV/AIDS Alliance
Sam Mcpherson, International HIV/AIDS Alliance
Pepukai Chikukwa, International HIV/AIDS Alliance
Juan Pablo Gutierrez, National Institute of Public Health
Steffano Bertozzi, National Institute of Public Health
Lalit Dandona, College of India
Rakhi Dandona, College of India

Even though there are few studies on the relationship between social capital and risk behaviour, evidence suggest that social capital can improve protective health behaviours. There is even less evidence exploring pathways between social capital amongst marginalised and (HIV/AIDS) vulnerable groups such as female sex workers (FSW) and men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) and risk behaviour. This paper analyses different concepts of social capital using quantitative data from a survey carried out with FSWs in India. It describes the development of three quantitative social capital measures, the characteristics of respondents falling into different categories and the results from bi and multivariate analysis. Findings show a strong and positive relationship between membership of FSW support groups and social capital, i.e. FSWs who are members of support groups have higher social capital than those who are not. Additionally, those who are members of support groups tend to practice safer sex than those who are not.

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Presented in Session 40: The behavioural dimension of the HIV epidemic: risks, perceptions and behaviours