AIDS and Behavior Vol. 15; No. 6: P. 1180-1186 (08..11) -
The authors noted the need to identify culturally relevant
factors that may contribute to sexual risk among African
Americans. In the current study, they investigated HIV-
specific medical mistrust - often exhibited as conspiracy
beliefs about HIV (such as, "AIDS was produced in a government
laboratory") - as one such cultural factor, which might be
indicative of general suspicion of messages about HIV
treatment and prevention.
During a six-month period, the team measured the endorsement
of HIV conspiracy beliefs three times and the frequency of
condom use monthly among the study's participants, 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," the authors found.
"An average of 54 percent of participants who endorsed
conspiracies reported unprotected intercourse, versus 39
percent who did not endorse conspiracies," the team concluded.
"Secondary prevention interventions may need to address
medical mistrust as a contributor to sexual risk among African
Americans living with HIV."