Jefferson Journal of Psychiatry


Since 1981 the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) has become the primary health care issue in this nation. Psychiatrists have had a central role in caring for AIDS patients: they have been asked to evaluate and treat patients with neuropsychiatric manifestations of AIDS and emotional reactions to the illness itself, as well as to treat those who are fearful of acquiring AIDS. Numerous studies in the literature have explored the physician and lay population's knowledge and attitudes about AIDS. To date no study has addressed these issues in psychiatrists in specific (1- 9).

Most studies suggest that individuals who have treated AIDS patients are most knowledgable about AIDS (2-5). In contrast , willingness to treat patients seems better correlated with scales of homophobia and empathy and is not related to a person's prior experience in treating patients with AIDS (7- 12).

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