Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Nigerians in America

For Nigerians in America and Nigerian-Americans, there are no statistics to highlight what their risk are, they are in a sort of limbo. They are susceptible to some risks that other African-Americans may have, which may be modified positively or negatively by level or acculturation, but also are susceptible to some risks that Nigerians living in Nigeria have, which may also be modified by frequency of visits to Nigeria, level of association with Nigerian culture, level of interaction in USA with Nigerians who visit the USA. 

Nigerian-Americans as other immigrant African-Americans have a different life experience and different exposures that most African-Americans. They differ in certain demographic characteristics that have been associated with an increased risk of HIV/AIDS such as educational level, family income, social support, drug use characteristics, etc. Nonetheless, they are a neglected, but important group to focus on as Nigerian-Americans represent the largest African-American immigrant population in the US with 165,481 persons as of 2000, a number that grows by the day with an expected increase of 368.8% by 2010.
Though there has been negative publicity about Nigerians and Nigerian-Americans in the western media, the vast majority of Nigerians are working hard and legitimately to reach their goals. Nigerians work jobs ranging from doctors, bankers and lawyers to taxicab drivers, teachers, and nurses. They prove to be very resilient and productive members of the American community. Most times, Nigerian Americans are sending money back to their relatives in Nigeria and a large amount of American income goes to support those in Nigeria. Any health issue that affects this community adversely in essence hinders the community’s ability to contribute both to Nigeria and America. Therefore, in relation to HIV/AIDS, intervention and prevention methods need to be created that are targeted to this special population.
Nigerians, because they have a lot to contribute to both communities, are also highly integrated into both cultures. Nigerians in America, and Nigerian-Americans, though living in the states still have strong ties to their Nigerian cultures and social repertoire. They have Nigerian-American associations, and ethnic associations that actively participate in their local communities and serve to aid their communities in Nigeria. They also have assimilated to American customs and practices as they conduct their daily life in the United States. Many studies that have looked at Hispanic Americans have shown that level of assimilation can affect how closely their health statistics will match Hispanics in Latin America versus Americans. This should probably be the same phenomenon seen in Nigerian Americans. Therefore prevention methods focused on Nigerian Americans should try to integrate methods proven reliable for African Americans in addition to methods being implemented in Nigeria.

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