Date of Award

8-13-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Sheryl Strasser, PhD

Second Advisor

Leigh Willis, PhD, MPH

Third Advisor

Rachel Kachur, MPH

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: HIV disproportionately affects African Americans, Latinos, and gay and bisexual men of all racial and ethnicity groups. People living with HIV/AIDS experience stigma related to their disease. HIV/AIDS stigma can have detrimental effects on HIV prevention, testing and treatment. Entertainment-education is a health communication strategy that can be used to influence behavioral and social change in the population.

AIM: The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether a Motion Comic intervention, an EE strategy, can decrease H/A stigma in a sample of MSM adolescents aged 15-24.

METHODS: Participants were recruited from GA, FL, NY and CA using convenience sampling. A sample of MSM adolescents aged 15-24 (n=24) was used for this study. The study design is a one-group pretest-posttest intervention. Participants were shown the Motion Comic episodes. Participants completed pre- and post-viewing surveys to assess HIV/AIDS stigma. A summed variable was used as the outcome for total HIV/AIDS stigma. A paired samples t-test was used to measure a statistically significant difference in HIV/AIDS stigma from pretest to posttest.

RESULTS: There was a statistically significant decrease in HIV stigma from pre-viewing survey (M = 9.87, SD = 3.49) to post-viewing survey (M = 8.65, SD = 2.48), t (22) = 2.01, p < .0285 (one-tailed). The mean decrease in HIV stigma scores was 1.22 with a 95% confidence interval ranging from 0.177 to 2.248. The eta squared statistic (.16) indicated a large effect size.

DISCUSSION: Results from this study show that viewing the Motion Comic may reduce HIV/AIDS stigma related to casual transmission of HIV and values, such as blame, shame and judgment, in MSM adolescents.

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