ERIC Number: ED341017
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990
Reference Count: N/A
AIDS: Lay Perceptions of a Group of Gay Men.
Schurink, Evanthe; Schurink, W. J.
A research design was devised that allowed for the employment of a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods in the collection of data on a group of homosexual men's lay perceptions of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), and those social processes at work in coping with the threat of this terminal disease. The research was carried out by means of the survey procedure as well as participant observation and in-depth and focus group interviews. A total of 1,114 usable questionnaires were returned. Results indicated that AIDS had a very definite impact on the respondents although its influence on their lives varied. Despite the fact that this group of respondents generally had a high level of knowledge of AIDS, some continued to participate in dangerous sexual practices. The reason why some of the men changed their risky sexual behavior and others did not could not be explained only in terms of the causal link that is generally assumed to exist between the provision of knowledge and behavioral change. The assumption that acquisition of knowledge has an immediate influence on the attitudes and behavior of people is thus challenged by the findings of this study. The results of the study reveal the complexity of the psychosocial processes involved in the individual's decision to take or not to take preventive action against AIDS. (Author/LLL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Human Sciences Research Council, Pretoria (South Africa).
Identifiers - Location: South Africa