Persuading People to Have Safer Sex: Applications of Social Science to the AIDS Crisis

About the Course:

In this book, Dr. Richard M. Perloff, applies theoretical literature and research from the fields of social psychology and communication to the growing health problem of HIV and AIDS. The book gives insight into the reasons why so much communication about safer sex fails, as well as a great deal of practical information to improve the design of programs directed at promoting safer sex. It discusses social and cultural barriers to HIV prevention and includes a number of vignettes that illustrate these problems. Finally, the book provides an excellent example of how different academic literatures can be synthesized to increase our understanding of a complex and highly relevant problem for today’s society.


Perloff, Richard M., Ph.D.

About the Author:

Dr. Richard M. Perloff obtained his B.A. from the University of Michigan, his M.A. from the University of Pittsburgh, and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Ohio State University. Dr. Perloff is Professor of Communication at Cleveland State University, where his specialties are persuasion, political communication, and journalism. He first became interested in AIDS prevention during the late 1980’s, when he helped develop a campaign to promote safer sex among injecting drug users and their partners.

Course Objectives:

  1. to describe the many faces of HIV infection, the human side, cultural dimensions, and emotional hang-ups that act as barriers to safer sex.

  2. to recognize and understand your own attitudes toward AIDS prevention, perceptions of HIV infection, and feelings toward persons with AIDS

Exam Questions

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