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Gillman J, Davila J, Sansgiry S, Parkinson-Windross D, Miertschin N, Mitts B, Henley C, Giordano TP. The effect of conspiracy beliefs and trust on HIV diagnosis, linkage, and retention in young MSM with HIV. Journal of health care for the poor and underserved. 2013 Feb 1; 24(1):36-45.
Conspiracy beliefs about HIV may result in delayed diagnosis, medication non-adherence, and low retention in care. The impact of such beliefs is not well described for minority youth. We assessed conspiracy beliefs, trust in physicians, and trust in the health care system in 47 HIV-infected, minority, adolescent men who have sex with men (MSM). We identified correlations of these factors with two intermediate outcomes (general self-efficacy and medication attitudes) and with three clinical outcomes (CD4 cell count at diagnosis, linkage to care, and retention in care). Greater conspiracy beliefs were associated with negative medication attitudes (r = -0.37, p = .01), while trust in physicians was correlated with positive medication attitudes (r = 0.42, p = .003). Neither conspiracy beliefs nor trust was correlated with self-efficacy, nor were they correlated with any of the three clinical outcomes. Conspiracy beliefs and lack of trust did not predict delayed diagnosis or poor linkage and retention in this population of young, minority MSM.