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Unformatted text preview: JOURNAL OF HEALTH EDUCATION-JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1994, Volume 25, No. 1 13 A Failure of HIV Education: Sex Can Be More Important Than a Long Life Bruce M. King and Peter B. Anderson Abstract Recent studies have found that most young people are knowledgeable abort AIDS and safer-sex practices, yet many continue to practice high-risk sexual be- haviors. This study proposes that AIDS prevention programs have underestimated young persons' motivation for sex. To determine the importance of sex to young adults, university undergraduates and nightclub patrons were asked if they would accept an opportunity to engage in sex with unlimited sexual partners as frequently as desired if they knew it would result in death by AIDS after two or 10 years. Of 1,247 individuals in the sample. 22.7. percent responded other than "definitely no." There was no significant difference between the form offering two years of unlimited sexual partners and that offering 10 years. Responses other than "definitely no" were most frequent for individuals who reported already having had more than 10 lifetime sexual partners. Sexuality and HIV education only slightly reduced the percentage of non-negative responses. It is concluded that HIV prevention pro- that advise limitation of sexual partners will have little impact on a sizeable minority of the population For this group, promotion of condom use and other safer sex practices that do not limit sexual opportunities should be emphasized in curtailing the spread of HIV. Bruce M. King is with the Department of Psychology and Peter B. Anderson is with the Department of Human Performance and Health Promotion at the University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70148 The spread of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is one of the greatest public health concern today. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has documented over 225,000 cases of AIDS in the United States (CDC, June, 1992). This includes at least one million infected persons in the United States. To combat the spread of HIV, The Public Health Service (with considerable help from the media) has relied primarily on education. The hope is that when individuals understand the consequences of HIV disease and the major means of transmission, they will reduce high-risk sexual behaviors. This educational campaign has met with mixed results. Several recent surveys have found that teenagers are knowledgeable about acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and the risks associated with having unprotected sexual intercourse with an HIV-infected person (Ahia, 1991; Anderson & Christenson, 1991; McGill, Smith, & Johnson, 1989; Thomas, Gilliam, & Iwrey, 1989). However, the percentage of teens and young adults engaging in sex has not declined, and may have increased, during the last decade (Debuono, Zinner, Daamen, & McCormack, 1990; For rest & Singly 1990)....
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2012 for the course MAFT 541 taught by Professor Davidp.altopp during the Fall '10 term at Ventura College.
- Fall '10