Norman, Lisa R.; Carr, Robert; Jiménez, Julio
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Sexual stigma and sympathy: Attitudes toward persons living with HIV in Jamaica
Culture, Health & Sexuality
Date of Publication
As the number of persons living with HIV continues to increase in Jamaica, attitudes and values become more important. This study aimed to examine the attitudes of university students in Jamaica toward persons living with HIV, including homosexual men, heterosexual men, women sex workers, other women, and children. One thousand two hundred and fifty two students were surveyed between June 2001 and February 2002 using a 193 item questionnaire measuring a variety of HIVrelated knowledge, attitudinal and behavioural items. Less than half of students reported sympathetic attitudes toward homosexual men or women sex workers living with HIV while a majority reported generally sympathetic attitudes toward heterosexual men and nonsex worker women living with the disease. Predictors of sympathy varied by target group. Male students were significantly less likely to report sympathy for homosexual men than for any other group. Spirituality was associated with sympathy for homosexual men and women sex workers, but not for the remaining two groups. Findings suggest that levels of negative attitudes are high in Jamaica and warrant attention to both individual and societallevel actions and interventions. In addition, messages and interventions must be targeted, recognizing both the differences in level of sympathy expressed toward different groups and predictors of sympathy across the groups.....