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Adding Insult to Injury: Blaming Persons with HIV Disease

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Abstract

Two experiments were conducted to investigate the behavioral and characterological blame people make about persons living with HIV/AIDS. The two studies presented a description of a gay relationship and a heterosexual relationship after which it was revealed that either both partners tested positive for the AIDS virus, one partner tested positive, neither tested positive, or there was no mention of AIDS or HIV Several variables were found to be related to the blaming of persons with HIV/AIDS, including the perceived similarity of the participant to the people in the scenario and the participant's AIDS-related stigma. Results also suggest that gay couples are blamed regardless of the outcome of their behavior, whereas the blaming of heterosexual couples depends on the gender of the observer and the HIV status of one or both partners.

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Powell, J.L., Christensen, C., Abbott, A.S. et al. Adding Insult to Injury: Blaming Persons with HIV Disease. AIDS Behav 2, 307–317 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1022670024847

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  • HIV/AIDS
  • stigma
  • blame
  • prejudice