Presidential Session Overview Designing Interventions to Prevent Hiv/Aids: Applications of Consumer Research Theory and Methods

Susan E. Middlestadt, Academy for Educational Development
[ to cite ]:
Susan E. Middlestadt (1993) ,"Presidential Session Overview Designing Interventions to Prevent Hiv/Aids: Applications of Consumer Research Theory and Methods", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 20, eds. Leigh McAlister and Michael L. Rothschild, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 291.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 20, 1993      Page 291

PRESIDENTIAL SESSION OVERVIEW

DESIGNING INTERVENTIONS TO PREVENT HIV/AIDS: APPLICATIONS OF CONSUMER RESEARCH THEORY AND METHODS

Susan E. Middlestadt, Academy for Educational Development

The HIV/AIDS epidemic is a major problem in the country and in the world today. Not only is HIV disease a health issue, but it constitutes a significant barrier to the continued economic and social development of nations and communities. At our current state of medical knowledge, prevention and behavior change represent our most important means of controlling the epidemic. Thus, the medical and public health professionals have been turning to behavioral scientists to an unprecedented extent for assistance in designing programs. The theories and methods of consumer research represent major tools for those designing interventions. At the same time, it is clear that changing the behaviors that place people at risk of HIV infection poses a significant challenge to consumer researchers. Studies around the world show that people are, by and large, aware of AIDS, know the modes of transmission and understand what to do to prevent exposure to the virus. However, many people, everywhere, continue to engage in behaviors that place them at risk. HIV/AIDS prevention interventions must go beyond changing people's beliefs about health consequences to influencing nonhealth consequences, social norms, perceived and actual skill, perceived risk and other behavioral determinants identified by consumer research. Each of the presentations in this session will describe the application of consumer research to the development and/or evaluation of HIV prevention interventions showing both the oppportunities and challenges to behavioral scientists working to understand and change HIV/AIDS behaviors.

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