Public reactions to AIDS in the United States: a second decade of stigma

Am J Public Health. 1993 Apr;83(4):574-7. doi: 10.2105/ajph.83.4.574.


The pervasiveness of stigma in the United States related to the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) was assessed in telephone interviews with a general adult sample (n = 538) and an African-American sample (n = 607). Most respondents manifested at least some stigma. African Americans expressed greater support for policies separating persons with AIDS from others and a stronger desire to avoid these persons, whereas Whites expressed more negative feelings toward them and a greater willingness to blame them for their illness. Regardless of race, men were more likely than women to support policies such as quarantine and to say that they would avoid persons with AIDS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome* / epidemiology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome* / prevention & control
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome* / transmission
  • Adult
  • African Americans
  • California
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Guilt
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Isolation
  • Public Opinion*
  • Quarantine
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Stereotyping
  • Surveys and Questionnaires