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To determine whether nurses possess differing attitudes toward AIDS patients depending-on how the person acquired the virus, four semantic differential scales, each containing a different mode of acquiring the virus, were developed for this project All possible combinations of two different scales were created and resulted in six forms that were randomly distributed to currently employed nurses from two south-eastern New England community hospitals in the USA A total of 357 (39 1%) responded to the questionnaire Paired t-test was used to examine the two means generated by each form Bonferroni t procedure was applied to correct for multiple comparisons For each form, significant differences were found in nurses’ attitudes toward AIDS patients according to the mode of acquiring the virus