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Prev Med. 1999 May;28(5):451-7.

Do blacks believe that HIV/AIDS is a government conspiracy against them?

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  • 1Behavioral Health Institute, California State University, 5500 University Parkway, San Bernardino, California 92407, USA.



We present the first study to explore the possibility that blacks believe that the human immunodeficiency virus was developed by the federal government in order to exterminate the black population.


Five hundred twenty black adults sampled door to door in 10 randomly selected census tracts completed a written survey in exchange for $10. They indicated their degree of agreement with the statement, "HIV/AIDS is a man-made virus that the federal government made to kill and wipe out black people."


Twenty-seven percent of blacks held AIDS-conspiracy views and an additional 23% were undecided. Endorsing AIDS-conspiracy beliefs was not related to blacks' age or income but was related to higher levels of education. Blacks who agreed that AIDS is a conspiracy against them tended to be culturally traditional, college-educated men who had experienced considerable racial discrimination.


The prevalence and health-related implications of blacks' AIDS-conspiracy beliefs must be fully investigated, and such beliefs must be addressed in culturally tailored, gender-specific AIDS prevention programs for blacks.

Copyright 1999 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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