The influence of health knowledge in shaping political priorities: Examining HIV/AIDS knowledge and public opinion about global health and domestic policies

Janet Okamoto, Sandra de Castro Buffington, Heather M. Cloum, Brett M. Mendenhall, Michael Toboni, Thomas W. Valente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Public opinion polls have historically indicated that the US public favours domestic over global priorities. It is not known what influence health knowledge has in shaping public opinion about domestic and global health policy. This study examines how knowledge of HIV/AIDS is related to the rated importance of domestic and global health issues. Participants were recruited to participate in an electronic survey (N = 995) and were predominantly White (86.3%), married (61.9%) and female (71.8%). HIV/AIDS knowledge was significantly associated with both domestic (β = 0.12, p < 0.05) and global health (β = 0.14, p < 0.01) priorities after controlling for sociodemographic variables. In addition, global health was found to act as a mediator between HIV/AIDS knowledge and perceived importance of domestic issues. Study findings suggest that those with greater HIV/AIDS knowledge rate global health issues higher, which in turn affects ratings of more domestic issues. This research has implications for ways to gain support for implementation of public health policy through increasing health knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)830-842
Number of pages13
JournalGlobal Public Health
Volume6
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

Keywords

  • HIV/AIDS
  • global health
  • health knowledge
  • political priorities
  • public opinion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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