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Educational status and young Dutch gay men's beliefs about using condoms

, : Educational status and young Dutch gay men's beliefs about using condoms. Aids Care 13(1): 41-56

The higher levels of HIV risk behaviour that have been found in young gay men with lower socio-economic status (SES, among others defined as educational achievement) may result from unequal effects of safer sex interventions. We conducted semi-structured focus group interviews with an educationally diverse sample of 113 young gay men living in The Netherlands. The objective was to bring to light men's salient ('accessible') beliefs about using condoms since information about beliefs might facilitate the formulation of 'personally relevant' safer sex messages that enhance in-depth message processing. We found several educational differences in the areas of knowledge about HIV preventive behaviour, cognitive schemas about the factors involved in HIV transmission, perceived pros and cons of using condoms, perceived social pressure to use condoms and feelings of being in control of protective action. This may suggest that, for intervention efforts to be effective in motivating the diversity of young gay men to engage in safer sex, interventions should convey tailor-made messages that match recipients' educational degree. Several implications for the formulation of such messages are discussed.


PMID: 11177464

DOI: 10.1080/09540120020018170

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