The effect of group education on improving attitudes about AIDS risk reduction

R. O. Valdiserri, D. W. Lyter, L. A. Kingsley, L. C. Leviton, J. W. Schofield, J. Huggins, M. Ho, C. R. Rinaldo

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25 Scopus citations


Four hundred sixty-four homosexual and bisexual men, recruited from a cohort of 1,700 men enrolled in a study of the natural history of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), participated in a peer-led, small-group educational session promoting AIDS risk reduction. Although levels of knowledge about AIDS and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission were uniformly high prior to intervention, at least 60% of the men reported having engaged in unprotected, receptive anal intercourse with more than one partner in te preceding six months. Prior to intervention, a substantial number of the men had mixed feelings about AIDS risk reduction or endorsed negative attitudes about AIDS risk reduction. After attending the session, attitudes improved significantly in five of the six areas surveyed. The ability of a group educational session to influence attitudes about AIDS risk reduction in a positive way suggests that this type of intervention may be effective in enabling homosexual and bisexual men to adopt low-risk sexual activities by influencing the nonhealth motives of sexual behavior, especially peer norms about safe sex. Long-term follow-up of this cohort will test for maintenance of this attitudinal change and, more importantly, will evaluate whether this attitudinal change is predictive of future changes in sexual behavior and HIV seroconversion rates. The authors stress the importance of incorporating existing health promotion research findings into the design and evaluation of AIDS risk reduction programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-278
Number of pages7
JournalNew York state journal of medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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