Gender plays an important role in mediating an individual's response to HIV prevention methods, a new study at Florida Department of Health in Alachua County has revealed.
The researchers have found that both men and women were likely to avoid gender-mismatched brochures.
Women, however, were more likely to approach gender-matched brochures over gender-neutral brochures.
The study by Kathleen C. McCulloch and Dolores Albarracin of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Marta R. Duranti from the University of Florida analysed 350 volunteers, who were exposed to six HIV-prevention brochures, two of which were gender-targeted and four of which were gender-neutral.
The participants were then given the chance to watch an HIV-prevention video and participate in an HIV-prevention counseling session.
The findings revealed that both men and women avoided gender-mismatched brochures.
Women were more likely than men to choose brochures targeted towards them. Overall involvement with or exposure to the female-specific brochure predicted accepting the video element of the intervention.
This pattern was only the case for females, and not for males for the male-specific brochure.
They also found that women read more brochures, were more involved in reading, and retained more information from all six brochures than did men.
The women were also more deeply absorbed by the video and retained more information from it than did men.
As the incidence of HIV is rising in the female population, understanding how to facilitate women's participation in effective HIV risk-reduction interventions is crucial to public health," said the authors.
The study was funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research.