Studies on the attitudes of various health care providers toward patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) are documented in the literature, but none have been identified with physical therapists' attitudes. This study compared the attitudes of Washington and Oregon physical therapists to determine if continuing education on AIDS, required in Washington for licensure but not in Oregon, reduced negative attitudes toward this patient population. Required continuing education did not significantly affect therapists' attitudes. Receiving AIDS education as part of physical therapy school curriculum did significantly affect attitudes (p=0.05) toward patients with HIV/AIDS. Comparison of therapists (regardless of state) who had and had not knowingly treated at least one patient diagnosed as HIV-positive, showed significantly more positive attitudes (p < 0.01) by those treating a patient so diagnosed.
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