n African Journal of Rhetoric - Risky business : the psychology and anatomy of HIV/AIDS in Africa n case study

Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1998-2054


This paper seeks to test the ability of felt, or perceived, stigma and enacted stigma / cultural value dimensions derived from the work of Ross and Hunter (1992) to predict the components of the fear and stigma of HIV/AIDS. The design and sample involved an empirical study using 397 male and 408 female nursing and health-related students. Several of the questionnaires were completed by the students during the laboratory class time. Completing the questionnaire took each participant 10 - 15 minutes. There were significant differences on the factor scale measuring fear of sex, with females and younger respondents having significantly greater fear, and on the scale measuring fear of outsiders males scored significantly higher than females. Results were later interpreted within a cultural context that realizes that decreasing AIDS stigma is a vital step in stemming the pandemic. The implications of these findings are discussed in terms of an effective community or medical infrastructure-based interventions that can reach a wider range of the population than just face-to-face programmes in modifying norms on cross-cultural, sexual, and death-related issues, which should be tailored to sustain the dignity and security of people's life.

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