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Abstract

How do sociologists understand the social stigma that is attached to individuals living with HIV/AIDS? In this article, I offer four criticisms of the AIDS-related stigma scholarly literature. Furthermore, I propose a new framework for understanding AIDS-related stigma: Allport’s social contact theory. I discuss both the benefits and drawbacks of utilizing social contact theory to examine AIDS-related stigma, as well as how the theory could be employed in both quantitative and qualitative research.

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