AIDS-Related Stigma and Homophobia: Implications for Nursing Education

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Abstract

Healthcare workers' attitudes about acquired immune deficiency syndrome(AIDS) are influenced by two major types of fears: AIDS-related stigma refers to irrational fears about contracting the virus and about death and dying issues, whereas homophobia refers to irrational fears or negative attitudes about same-sex sexual behaviours or relationships. In this study, open-ended responses of nursing students to a videotape about an AIDS hospice were examined for the prevalence of these two types of fears. Most of the negative themes could be classifieds as AIDS-related stigma or homophobia. Implications for nursing education are discussed.

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