HIV Clin Trials. 2011 Jan-Feb;12(1):37-47.

Belief in AIDS origin conspiracy theory and willingness to participate in biomedical research studies: findings in whites, blacks, and Hispanics in seven cities across two surveys.

Russell SL, Katz RV, Wang MQ, Lee R, Green BL, Kressin NR, Claudio C.

Department of Epidemiology and Health Promotion, New York University, New York, NY, USA. stefanie.russell@nyu.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine whether a belief in the AIDS origin conspiracy theory is related to likelihood or fear of participation in research studies.

METHODS: The Tuskegee Legacy Project Questionnaire was administered via random-digit-dialed telephone interview to black, white, and Hispanic participants in 4 cities in 1999 and 2000 (n = 1,133) and in 3 cities in 2003 (n = 1,162).

RESULTS: In 1999, 27.8% of blacks, 23.6% of Hispanics, and 8% of whites (P ≤ .001) reported that it was “very or somewhat likely” that AIDS is “the result of a government plan to intentionally kill a certain group of people by genocide.” In 2003, 34.1% of blacks, 21.9% of Hispanics, and 8.4% of whites (P ≤ .001) reported the same.

CONCLUSIONS: Whereas blacks and Hispanics were more than 3 times more likely than whites to believe in this AIDS origin conspiracy theory, holding this belief was not associated with a decreased likelihood of participation in, or increased fear of participation in, biomedical research.

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