Cover: Longitudinal Association of HIV Conspiracy Beliefs with Sexual Risk Among Black Males Living with HIV

Longitudinal Association of HIV Conspiracy Beliefs with Sexual Risk Among Black Males Living with HIV

Published In: AIDS and Behavior, v. 15, no. 6, Aug. 2011, p. 1180-1186

Posted on rand.org Aug 1, 2011

by Laura M. Bogart, Frank H. Galvan, Glenn Wagner, David J. Klein

Research is needed to identify culturally relevant factors that may contribute to sexual risk among African Americans. We investigated HIV-specific medical mistrust as one such cultural factor, often exhibited as conspiracy beliefs about HIV (e.g., "AIDS was produced in a government laboratory"), which may be indicative of general suspicion of HIV treatment and prevention messages. Over a 6-month time-period, we measured endorsement of HIV conspiracy beliefs three times and frequency of condom use monthly among 181 HIV-positive African American males. A hierarchical multivariate repeated-measures logistic random effects model indicated that greater belief in HIV conspiracies was associated with a higher likelihood of reporting unprotected intercourse across all time-points. An average of 54% of participants who endorsed conspiracies reported unprotected intercourse, versus 39% who did not endorse conspiracies. Secondary prevention interventions may need to address medical mistrust as a contributor to sexual risk among African Americans living with HIV.

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