Male Homosexual Behavior and the Effects of AIDS Education: A Study of Behavior and Safer Sex in New Zealand and South Australia

Male Homosexual Behavior and the Effects of AIDS Education: A Study of Behavior and Safer Sex in New Zealand and South Australia

Male Homosexual Behavior and the Effects of AIDS Education: A Study of Behavior and Safer Sex in New Zealand and South Australia

Male Homosexual Behavior and the Effects of AIDS Education: A Study of Behavior and Safer Sex in New Zealand and South Australia

Synopsis

This study is the first to look at how well AIDS education has worked and to explore the psychosocial factors that underlie behavioral response to initiatives promoting safer sex. Using comparative measures, Rosser profiles a specific population at risk and identifies important differences between homosexual men who engage in safer sex and those who do not. He evaluates the positive and negative effects of different approaches to AIDS education and discusses changes in education, policy, behavior, and attitudes that are needed to halt the epidemic.

Excerpt

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a menace threatening lives, economies, and cultures throughout the world. Many lives have already been lost. Billions of dollars have been spent to treat this illness, understand its mysteries, develop treatments, and prevent its spread. Certain cultures are in danger of becoming extinct. Minority and the culturally disenfranchised populations are most vulnerable. the dramatic proportion of this pandemic cannot be told in numbers, but rather in the stories of those affected.

Upon reading Dr. Rosser's extensive study of male homosexual behavior and the effects of hiv education, one is horrified by the injustice and ineptitude of many societies in effectively addressing this pandemic. Lives are lost because we will not talk about sex, understand human sexual behavior, appreciate sexual diversity, invest money in prevention programs, and foster research in psychosocial aspects of hiv. On the other hand, Dr. Rosser's research points the way out of this shameful situation. Instead of reacting to this pandemic with fear, prejudice, ignorance, and ineptitude, societies can use the tools they have for scientifically understanding human sexual behavior and preventing the further spread of hiv. If we applied our resources for the psychosocial understanding of hiv transmission to understanding the virus itself we could stop this pandemic. It's as simple as that.

Several perplexing questions arise. If we have the capacity of stopping this pandemic, why haven't we done so? the answer is found in social factors rather than in scientif ones. If the disease . . .

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