A re-assessment of health education on HIV/AIDS for young heterosexuals

Wight, D. (1993) A re-assessment of health education on HIV/AIDS for young heterosexuals. Health Education Research, 8(4), pp. 473-483. (doi: 10.1093/her/8.4.473)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/her/8.4.473


Despite a fairly high level of public knowledge about HIV there has, apparently, been little behavioural response to the disease by heterosexuals. Condoms are still used by young people primarily for contraceptive purposes. There are serious cultural and structural factors that impede the practice of safer sex, and for most young people HIV has little salience. They associate the disease with socially distant, stigmatized groups and do not feel personally vulnerable. Increasing evidence suggests that the risk of HIV infection in Britain to non-injecting heterosexuals in most geographical areas is currently very low, which undermines appeals to individuals' perceived vulnerability. An alternative approach to HIV/AIDS education would be to promote safer sex practices indirectly, by addressing other preexisting sexual concerns of young people, in particular the prevention of unwanted pregnancy. This might be achieved through a comprehensive sex education programme involving small group work to actively learn communication and negotiation skills and to empower young women. However, such an approach would need to be carefully evaluated.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wight, Professor Danny
Authors: Wight, D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Health Education Research
ISSN (Online):1465-3648

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