Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Level



Health, Human Performance and Recreation


Robinson, Samantha


Despite constant media coverage and public interest in current epidemics, the prevalence and lack of awareness of HIV/AIDS is often overlooked on campuses and communities associated with colleges and universities. Several interrelated factors, such as LGBTQ+ status, being a college student, gender, coming from a rural area, ethnicity, and educational attainment are known to contribute to behaviors regarding sexual health, especially non-curable diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Consequently, it is imperative to explore trends in both the HIV/AIDS knowledge and sentiments towards individuals with HIV/AIDS in college environments. Current work utilizes a nonprobability sample recruited through media platforms, representing individuals that have some association to a college campus community. Participants completed a demographic questionnaire, the 18-item HIV Knowledge Questionnaire (HIV-K-Q18), and a 12- item subscale extracted from the 42-item Stigmatizing Attitudes Towards People Living with HIV/AIDS scale (SAT-PLWHA-S). Differences in item functionality for the 18 HIV-K-Q18 items and the 12 SAT-PLWHA-S items as well as differences in overall knowledge level and overall sentiment, as measured by the average response on the full set of respective scale items, were explored. Correlational analyses and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) methods were conducted to determine existent relationships between demographics, HIV/AIDS knowledge, and sentiment towards individuals living with HIV/AIDS. These methods revealed individual and regional characteristics of participants that did impact overall HIV/AIDS knowledge level and sentiment. 5 These findings reveal features that contribute differentially to levels of HIV/AIDS knowledge and sentiment, specifically among LGBTQ+ participants. These participants scored higher on knowledge questions and felt more positive about people living with HIV/AIDS. The results can be utilized to create targeted community interventions and educational programming to improve sexual health of college and university campus communities.


HIV/AIDS, Stigma, Knowledge, Sentiment