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Mistrust of government often deters older adults from HIV testing
Date:1/29/2013

proactively testing because they believe it can help them avoid the threats to personal safety that are described in many AIDS conspiracies," Ford said. "For instance, if I hold these conspiracy beliefs and a doctor tells me I tested negative, I might get tested again just to confirm that the result really is negative."

By contrast, individuals who reported mistrusting the government may not have been tested because the venues where they were recruited were, in fact, government entities, Ford said.

The study has some weaknesses. For instance, the study design did not allow the researchers to determine whether the participants held their beliefs before or after being tested; thus, the researchers couldn't tell what prompted their mistrust of the government or conspiracy beliefs. Also, it's possible that the prevalence of these theories is higher in this group than it is in the general public and that some participants may have been afraid to tell the truth.

The next step in the research is to study other groups of older adults to determine if these views are more widely held than just among the at-risk population the researchers studied.


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Contact: Enrique Rivero
erivero@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2273
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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