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Abstract

With one in five individuals in the world living in China, there is an urgent need for HIV prevention and understanding HIV/AIDS stigma in China. This study applies an attributional analysis to Chinese students' responses to AIDS, examining effects of attributions of causal controllability for HIV infection on reactions to people living with HIV/AIDS. Students (n = 309) read one of two scenarios describing an AIDS patient and manipulating controllability of AIDS onset. Controllability of AIDS onset contributed to responsibility judgments, less positive affect, and lower desires to personally interact with the patient. Responsibility judgments predicted interaction wishes directly and indirectly through positive affect. Results provide support for Weiner's interpersonal attributional model. Implications for responses to AIDS in China are discussed.