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AIDS Educ Prev. 1990 Spring;2(1):12-23.

Changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behavior as a result of a community-based AIDS prevention program.

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Chapman College, Orange, CA 92666.


The study evaluates the outcome of a California-based AIDS prevention program, "Stop AIDS." Community discussion groups focusing on information, attitudes, and behavior associated with HIV infection and transmission were conducted in one-time, 3 1/2-hour sessions. Participants completed different versions of the AIDS Prevention Test before and after the discussion group. Significant positive shifts in information, attitudes, and behavior were observed as a function of the discussion group participation. Whereas pretest knowledge correlated with pretest behavior and posttest knowledge, only pretest behavior correlated with the crucial variable of posttest intended behavior. When changes from pretest to posttest were analyzed, both information and attitude change correlated to changes in behavior. The intervention and evaluation procedures are proposed as a replicable national model for community-based AIDS prevention programs.


To evaluate the impact of an acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) prevention program on knowledge, attitudes, and intended behavior, a test instrument for use with gay and bisexual men was developed and administered to participants in the California-based Stop AIDS Project. The intervention is comprised of a 3 1/2 hour group discussion facilitated by a specially trained peer leader and held in private homes. Its ultimate objective is to persuade gay and bisexual men top make a personal commitment to safe sex practices and to stopping the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (hIV). Topics included in the discussion were; how the AIDS epidemic had personally affected group members, safe sex guidelines, possible negative feelings about life- style changes required by the threat of AIDS, the proper use of condoms, the pros and cons of HIV antibody testing, and ways that participants could become involved in ending the AIDS epidemic. 148 participants from 16 discussion groups held in Orange County, California, were administered the test instrument before and after the intervention. Significant (p 0.001) increases from pretest to posttest were recorded for all 3 test components: from a mean of 78.5% to 84.7% correct on the knowledge section, from 30.02 to 31.31 out of a possible 35 on attitude, and from 17.21 to 18.84 out of a possible 21 on intended behavioral changes. Notable was a lack of correlation between information, attitudes, and a commitment to change behavior. Only pretest behavior correlated with the crucial variable of posttest intended behavior. On the other hand, there were significant correlations between both knowledge and attitude change and commitment to behavior change, demonstrating the effectiveness of this relatively simple intervention. Useful would be a follow-up study to determine how much of the commitment to behavior changes expressed after these group discussions is actualized.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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