Philip Pettis and Rhonda Lewis-Moss, (Faculty Mentor)
Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (McNair Scholars Program)
Since the onset of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, MSM (men who have sex with men) have been disproportionately affected. It is important to understand the contributing factors that have lead to the spread of HIV in this population and design effective prevention measures. The purpose of this study will be to assess the behaviors, attitudes and perceptions of gay men living in the Midwest to determine what factors are putting them at risk for HIV/AIDS infection. Current researchers were interested in if there was an association between HIV/AIDS status and race with the following questions: 1) How good the participants felt about themselves 2) If participants believe that the negative aspects of HIV/AIDS have decreased due to advancements in HIV/AIDS treatment. Fifty MSM participated in the study. A survey titled “Health Assessment” was distributed to participants. Results indicated that majority of participants in spite of race or HIV/AIDS status felt good about themselves. Results indicated that majority of participants did not believe that the negative aspects of HIV/AIDS have decreased due to advancements in HIV/AIDS treatment. Future research and limitations of the study will be discussed.