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Knowledge Of Aids

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Condom Use and the Accuracy of AIDS knowledge

Across Africa, the HIV virus has spread

mostly through sexual intercourse. The healthcare professionals and researchers are trying to find out if people are most likely to take precaution in protecting themselves from the virus by using condoms. Their main focus was in the southern and eastern parts of Africa, where 1 in 4 adults are HIV positive. A Demographic and Health Survey was done in 1994 and revealed that "92% of men and 80% of women" were able to mention at least one method that HIV is contracted; through sexual transmission. However, only 23% of the men and 7% of women indicated that they use condoms. Many AIDS Awareness and family planning programs promote the use of condoms as being a major source of protection, however there were negative attitudes that came about when it was mentioned. Many of the Africans have suggested that condoms are a sign of unfaithfulness and mistrust. And for the men who agree with the use of the condom, availability was a problem.

African men have majority of the control in decision making with regards to sexual encounters. An example was used from the men of Zimbabwe, they "expressed the belief that women need their partners' permission to use contraceptives"(Zellner,2003). Because of this man power of females, women tend to be placed in situations where they increase their risk of sexual transmitted diseases including HIV.

Another study was done with men who were truck drivers. The researchers found that 72% of married men had multiple sex partners and 60% were unwilling to use condoms because they did not like the way they felt and were unaware of the risk of unprotected sex. Condoms are not the most common method of contraception for women. Several of the men also have interactions with sex workers. "With almost 70% of sex workers carrying HIV," the men have sex with those who do not insist on using condoms.

Among secondary and college students, the persons with good knowledge of how HIV is transmitted were not using condoms, compared to those adults who had poor knowledge of HIV transmission.

Method:

This article is based on a 1994 Demographic and Health Survey of 5,653 partcipants, (4,429 women and 1,224 men). It was analyzed for respondents who had sex in the two months before the survey.

Theoretical Connection:

The author was interested in finding out whether the accuracy of men and women's knowledge about AIDS predicted condom use in their most recent sexual interaction. Her hypothesis was "that having more accurate knowledge about how HIV is transmitted would be associated with a greater likelihood of having used a condom at last sex."

Findings

Author Sara Zellner found that the accuracy of knowledge about AIDS did not significantly predict condom use. For the males the odds of using condoms was low among men 35 and older, compared to the 15-19 year olds. The odds were also low for married men. Men with secondary or higher education were most likely to use condoms compared to uneducated men. Women 25 and older had lower odds of usibg condoms at their last intercourse than women ages 15-19. Odds were low for married women, however they were high for women with secondary or higher education compared to the uneducated.

I was surprised to find out that men over 30 were least likely to use condoms. I just assumed that older men were more responsible at taking precaution in protecting themselves.

College Students' Judgments' and Perceptions of Persons With AIDS from Different Risks Groups.

The AIDS epidemic in the United States has claimed over 250,000 lives and an estimate of over a million people are infected with HIV. Many view AIDS as a gay persons disease however the virus is spreading all through the entire population, leaving people form all the risks groups vulnerable. The CDC reported that the adult groups that have the highest rate of increase of the infection are IDU's and heterosexuals. The gay population has had an decrease in numbers. People look at AIDS differently than other diseases. People with AIDS are also judged more harshly than those who have cancer or hepatitis. Those who were infected through sexual intercourse were treated worse than those who were infected through blood transfusions. Large levels of homophobia are related to more negative opinions of persons with AIDS, however there is no relationship between knowledge about AIDS and homophobia.

Method:

This article is based on questionnaires that were given to 104 females and 75 males, undergraduate students at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Their ages ranged from 18 to 54 years old. All races African American, Alaska Native, Asian American, Hispanic American, European Americans and Native Americans. The freshmen made up 31.9%, sophomores were 24,5%, juniors 18.9% and seniors were 3.5%. The AIDS questionnaire consisted of 12 questions to find out the participants knowledge of AIDS and HIV.

Theoretical Connection:

The author was trying to find out the different attitudes and feelings that college students have on the different risk groups. The authors hypothesis was "that the participants viewed AIDS as a 'gay' disease and that attitudes and feelings toward gay people affect evaluations of persons with AIDS".

FINDINGS:

The results revealed that homophobia was a very important factor that affected the participants opinions of the examples that were used in the surveys. The hemophiliac was judged the least, than the heterosexuals, the gay person , then the IDU's. The IDU's were evaluated the most negatively on personal characteristics. Women were more tolerant and accepted persons with AIDS than the men were.

My opinion on this article was that I agree with the findings because these are the reactions that I see going on around me. As far as AIDS and gay people, a lot of people now still believe that only gay men can catch the disease and that only gay men are spreading it. I also notice how heterosexuals males do treat gay males very harsh and negatively. I do not know if it is a male ego thing, that he they be nice to them that it will rub off or what, but it is a very common behavior.

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