Conspiracy beliefs about HIV/AIDS among HIV-positive African-American patients in rural Alabama

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Psychological reports

Publication Date


Date Added



This is apparently the first survey examining endorsement of HIV/AIDS conspiracy beliefs and their relations to educational attainment among 205 HIV-positive African-American patients receiving care at an AIDS Outreach Organization in Alabama. 31% somewhat or strongly believed that, “AIDS is a form of genocide against African Americans,” 29% strongly agreed that “AIDS was created by the government to control the black population,” 56.1% agreed that the government is withholding a cure for AIDS, and 69.8% agreed that the government is withholding information about the disease from the public. 52% agreed that “HIV is a manmade virus,” and 43.1% that “AIDS was produced in the government's laboratory.” Respondents with high school or college education were less likely to endorse conspiracy beliefs. Being open and sensitive to questions about conspiracy beliefs plus understanding the historical roots and social context from which such questions arise in African-American communities is needed to counter such beliefs.


Public Health


SAGE Publications Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA