HIV-Related Stigma and Knowledge in the U.S., 1991-1999

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3. Negative feelings toward people with AIDS declined significantly


Negative feelings toward persons with AIDS declined significantly over the 1990s.

At the beginning of the decade, more than one respondent in three expressed some fear of PWAs, and more than one in four felt anger or disgust. By 1999, approximately one-fifth of respondents expressed fear, and roughly one sixth felt anger or disgust.

Put differently, the odds of expressing negative feelings toward PWAs declined by an average of 8-10% annually between 1991 and 1999.

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Item Wording

People have many different feelings when they think about people who have AIDS. As I read each of the following feelings, please tell me how you personally feel.

  1. Angry: How about feeling angry at them? Would you say you feel very sympathetic, somewhat, a little, or not at all sympathetic when you think about people with AIDS?
  2. Afraid: How about afraid of them?
  3. Disgust: How about disgusted by them?

Graphic shows the proportion responding "somewhat" or "very" angry, afraid, or disgusted.


From: Herek, G. M., Capitanio, J. P., & Widaman, K. F. (2002). HIV-related stigma and knowledge in the United States: Prevalence and trends, 1991-1999. American Journal of Public Health, 92(3).
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