All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Ann E Montgomery

Advisory Committee Members

Jodie Dionne

Nataliya Ivankova

Pauline Jolly

Tamika Smith

Tenesha Washington

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education


The purpose of this dissertation was to evaluate the acceptance of social media in HIV prevention education for female sex workers in Cameroon. The objectives included: (1) provide a review of literature on the use of social media in HIV prevention education among Female Sex workers (FSWs); (2) determine the acceptance of Secret Facebook Group (SFG) for HIV prevention education among FSW in Cameroon; and (3) explain the acceptance of SFG in HIV prevention education and social media platform alternatives to SFG in Cameroon. Utilizing a sequential explanatory mixed methods design, three methods were employed for this dissertation and guided by the combined technology acceptance model (TAM) and the theory of planned behavior (TPB): (1) a scoping review explored the current landscape of the literature; (2) quantitative data analysis determined acceptance of SFGs in HIV interventions among FSWs; and (3) qualitative research explained FSWs acceptance of social media in HIV prevention education among FSWs in Cameroon. The study design ensured participants’ perspectives were fully considered. The qualitative research was able to explore quantitative results in more detail through interview questions informed by quantitative research results. Results from the scoping review included 10 articles, which suggest a new body of literature. Quantitative analysis of surveys distributed to FSWs revealed the majority (75%) selected 5 stars for the acceptance of Secret Facebook Group (SFG) in HIV prevention. Qualitative analysis expressed privacy, phone airtime, and fiscal and social support as key attributes to accepting SFG as a tool in HIV prevention education. WhatsApp was mentioned as top social media platform alternative to SFG. The limitations of the research were small sample sizes, only English publication considerations in the scoping review, and self-reported survey and interview responses that were shared one year after the parent project happened. Therefore, the results were not generalizable. In a future manuscript, the integration of the quantitative and qualitative phases will be conducted, and additional research will inform design and implementation of social media interventions that address HIV in vulnerable populations in SSA. In addition, SFG based HIV project should be scaled in other areas of Cameroon.

Included in

Education Commons