HIV stigma is a serious and important problem in the daily lives of people living with HIV (PLWH). The aim of these studies is to examine (virtual) approach behavior and physiological responses across experimental conditions.
Studies 1 and 2 will assess the responses triggered while interacting with PLWH in a virtual hospital room. Next to the type of disease (PLWH, cancer patients or patients with a broken leg), in the first study, the sexual orientation (homosexual versus heterosexual) will be manipulated and in the second, the visibility of the HIV infection (visible versus non-visible), thereby creating a total of six conditions in both studies. By means of a cover story, participants will be asked to remember the names of the virtual patients encountered. In fact however, approach behavior and physiological responses across conditions is the focus of interest.
Studies 3, 4 and 5 will examine the impact of virtual PLWH’s stigma-reduction strategies on participants’ responses.