Section 34
Chapter 33,949

The stigma of AIDS: fear of disease and prejudice toward gay men

St Lawrence, J.S.; Husfeldt, B.A.; Kelly, J.A.; Hood, H.V.; Smith, S.

Journal of Homosexuality 19(3): 85-101


ISSN/ISBN: 0091-8369
PMID: 2212632
DOI: 10.1300/j082v19n03_05
Accession: 033948805

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Three hundred college students were presented with vignettes describing an ill person; the vignettes were identical except the illness was identified as either AIDS or leukemia and the individual was described as either homosexual or heterosexual. After reading one vignette, each subject completed a set of measures sensitive to interpersonal evaluation, prejudicial attitudes, and willingness to interact casually with the portrayed individual. The findings indicate the presence of highly stigmatizing attitudes towards AIDS patients and suggest that the public views AIDS patients and gay persons with similar attitudinal prejudice. The need for greater attention to AIDS by social and behavioral researchers is discussed.

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