STUDY | 
Health
 BEHAVIOR CHANGE

Why we need to rethink AIDS education for gay men.’

Gold (1994)
Summary by 
Mark Egan

"The author compared the effectiveness of a conventional informational poster intervention designed to increase condom use among gay men to a ‘self-justification’ intervention designed to bridge the hot-cold behavioral gap between acting in the throes of passion and later cool objectivity. Subjects in the latter group were sent a questionnaire which instructed them to recall as vividly as possible an unsafe (in terms of protection) sexual encounter they had previously engaged in and were asked to indicate which of a given list of possible selfjustifications for having unsafe sex had been in their mind at the moment they decided not to use a condom. They were then how reasonable those justifications seemed now and to briefly justify those new responses.The percentage of men in the ‘self-justification’ group subsequently differed dramatically in probability of reporting 2 or more acts of unsafe sex; 17% compared to 41% for the poster group and 42% for the control."