ERIC Number: ED302761
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Aug-12
AIDS: It's Not What You Know, It's What You Do.
This document reviews five psychological domains of prevention of the behavioral disease of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). First the limits of AIDS education are discussed, noting that increasing amounts of education will not necessarily reduce the spread of the virus, since information and education do not control behavior. Research showing that physicians are ill-equipped to diagnose AIDS or to counsel patients regarding their sexual practices is described. The lack of perception of personal vulnerability to AIDS by teenagers is discussed, noting that adolescents may not identify themselves as "gay" or "addicts," and thus not perceive themselves at risk. Lifetime behavior changes are discussed which may be necessary, but information alone will not produce such long-term behavioral change. The report notes that behavioral consequences are likely to be more important than antecedents such as reinforcers and information. It is also noted that long-term benefits of "safer sex" (such as not contracting the human immuno-deficiency (HIV) virus) may be outweighed by the short-term benefits of "unsafe sex" such as spontaneity. The report concludes that AIDS prevention will depend less on knowledge about HIV and more on an understanding of human behavior. (Author/ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - General; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (96th, Atlanta, GA, August 12-16, 1988).