Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



School of Social Work

First Advisor

Naomi T. Ward


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has significantly infected and affected African-American women and their families. HIV has significantly impacted the social support system and the quality of life of women who are infected. In an effort to measure the importance of social support on the quality of life among African-American women, a social support questionnaire and quality of life survey was administered to 28 African-American women in Oakland, California who are HIV-positive or had an AIDS diagnosis. The results of this study demonstrated that substitute support systems are created when family support systems have diminished or no longer available. The participants in this study affirmed that a woman’s quality of life is an individual’s concept based on her established relationships with the people and agencies of her support system.