Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications

Major Professor

Carrie Stephens

Committee Members

Joseph Donaldson, Laura Miller


Because of the lack of study, little is known about how members of the gay community immersed in rural areas relate to one another especially relative to the AIDS Crisis and those gay men living with HIV (Eldridge, Mack, & Swank, 2008). The purpose of this study was to investigate features of attitude (fears, threats, preconceived notions, and convictions) of a mature HIV negative homosexual man from rural Appalachia on HIV positive homosexual men (Thurstone, 1928). The central research question asked was, “How do you relate to HIV positive gay men as a HIV negative gay man having been raised in rural Appalachia and lived through the AIDS Crisis?” The criteria for selecting a subject for this study was an HIV negative homosexual male, 52-60 years of age, and being raised from birth in rural Appalachia. This thesis was a case study of one subject through a series of four interviews elucidating attitudes on psychological, social, and health implication of the subject’s interactions with people living with HIV (Halkitis, Wolitski, and Millet, 2013). The researcher transcribed these with general results narrowed into specific conclusions by identifying each time the subject re-counted an experience having to do with a gay HIV positive man. Three significant conclusions were drawn: The subject held (a) accepting, (b) concerned, and (c) empathetic attitudes toward gay men living with HIV.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."