Reducing STD/HIV Stigmatizing Attitudes Through Community Popular Opinion Leaders in Chinese Markets


Ronald E. Rice; e-mail:


Reducing STDs and HIV/AIDS incidence requires campaigns designed to change knowledge, attitudes, and practices of risky sexual behavior. In China, a significant obstacle to such changes is the stigma associated with these diseases. Thus 1 campaign intervention strategy is to train credible community leaders to discuss these issues in everyday social venues. This study tested the effectiveness of such an approach on reducing HIV/AIDS stigma, across 2 years, from a sample of over 4,500 market vendors, in 3 conditions. Results showed an increasing growth in market communication about intervention messages, and concomitant declines in stigmatizing attitudes, across time, with the greatest changes in community popular opinion leaders, significant changes in intervention nonopinion leaders, and little change in the control markets.