Attitudes of professionals, students and the general public to HIV/AIDS and people with HIV/AIDS: A review of the research

Maritta Anneli Vaelimaeki, Tarja Suominen, Ian Peate

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


This paper provides a review relating to the attitudes of health care professionals, students and the general public to HIV/AIDS and people with HIV/AIDS. This is done by describing the literature on attitudes to HIV and AIDS in three fields of research: medicine/nursing, psychology and the social sciences. In addition, we look at the countries in which research has been conducted in these issues and at the variety of tools and methodological approaches used and at the participants studied. The review shows that, during the 1990s, the research interest in issues related to HIV/AIDS attitudes has rapidly increased. Most of the work on HIV and AIDS has been done in the United States, with the main focus on empirical research using questionnaires. The attention has mostly been on students and their attitudes to AIDS/HIV and sexual behaviour, but increasing interest has also been shown in the attitudes of health care personnel and students. As it seems that attitudes have been highly resistant to change, more consideration needs to be given to finding appropriate ways of educating the general public, students and health care professionals. A comprehensive analysis is also needed of the different tools used in measuring attitudes and in international comparisons of the attitudes of adolescents, health care professionals and students towards AIDS and AIDS patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)752-759
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitudes
  • General public
  • Nursing students
  • Professionals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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