Stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS poses a significant threat to the curtailing of the epidemic by acting as a barrier to HIV testing and disclosure of serostatus. Previous research in the United States found personal knowledge of someone with HIV/AIDS to be a predictor of lower levels of HIV/AIDS-related stigma. However, no study to date has examined this relationship in Zimbabweans. Allport's contact hypothesis was hypothesis was the theoretical frame used to assess the effect of direct contact on public attitudes towards people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in Zimbabweans with the goal of identifying areas of stigma reduction. Stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS poses a significant threat to the curtailing of the epidemic by acting as a barrier to HIV testing and disclosure of serostatus. Previous research in the United States found personal knowledge of someone with HIV/AIDS to be a predictor of lower levels of HIV/AIDS-related stigma. However, no study to date has examined this relationship in Zimbabweans. This study surveyed English-speaking adult Zimbabweans from anywhere in the world. Descriptive statistics, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients, and hierarchical stepwise multiple regression were used for analysis. Personal knowledge of someone with HIV/AIDS and the beliefs about HIV/AIDS transmission through casual contact emerged as the statistically significant predictors of stigma in the final model (r = -.172, p < .01, and r = .281, p < .001, respectively. There was an inverse correlation between personal knowledge of someone with HIV/AIDS and stigma. Potential positive social change contributions include a mobilized population with a common goal of eradicating HIV/AIDS, seeking HIV/AIDS testing services, disclosure of HIV serostatus, and seeking treatment leading to control of HIV transmission.
|Advisor:||Anderson, Peter B.|
|Commitee:||Barkley, William, Palmer, Richard|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-B 72/01, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Health sciences, Epidemiology|
|Keywords:||AIDS, HIV, Public attitudes, Zimbabweans|
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