Perception of HIV/AIDS by Filipino University Students

Hi world! My name is Evette Becker, and I am a rising senior majoring is Psycholgoy here at the College of William and Mary.

As a former Sharpe Community Scholar, I learned the importance of academic research and how such knowledge can be translated into active community service. Along this vein, I will be using my passion for psychology to attempt to learn more about social perceptions and stereotypes and apply any knowledge gained in fostering service to the greater community.

This summer I will be using my Sharpe Grant to determine the perceptions, stigmas and knowledge of HIV/AIDS by Filipino university students and whether these perceptions are transferred into associated stereotypes with regards to a specific group (homosexual individuals). I am currently in the Philippines, and will be here for three weeks, recruiting participants. Participants will fill out a survey instrument (via the internet instrument Tribe Responses) containing one semi-implicit vignette and several explicit survey questions. My goal is to recruit 50 males and 50 females from the two different University of the Philippines (UP) campuses, Diliman and Los Banos. With assistance from Dr. Cheryl Dickter here at the College, I will be analzying the data and looking for any correlations between the students’ implicit and explicit responses. I plan to give the same survey to the undergraduate population here at the College, and see the similaries and difference in the responses.

As a Filipino American, I grew up in a cross-cultural household. I have seen first hand some of the stigmas that are associated with Filipinos and other individuals who demonstrate stereotypical homosexual behaviors. I am interested in finding out if there is a link between cultural/social groups (Catholics, locality in the Philippines, knowledge of the HIV/AIDS disease, etc.) and their perceptions of the HIV/AIDS and homosexuality. I believe that it is important to run the same test with American students because of the many similarities between the Filipino and American cultures, espically among the teenage/college populations.

As per Sharpe Scholars mission, the question becomes “how does this research apply to service?” Through my experience with the Sharpe program, I learned that without proper understanding of your population’s demographics, the problems that truly effect them, and their perceptions and expectations, services rendered can never be as effective as it could be. This study will at least demostrate some found perceptions, which can be used by HIV/AIDS servce organizations when treating patients of Filipino background/heritage.

Through this blog, I will be discussing some of my experiences while here in the Philippines recruiting participants (and yes, experiencing Filipino culture first hand). When I get back to the states, I will also be documenting my progress while analying and interprating my data.

So, until next time that I get internet access again, I’m off to attempt to get cool in this 96 dregree weather!

Evette  🙂


  1. Hey Evette,
    Wow, I didn’t even know that there were stigmas associated with Filipinos. But your project sounds pretty cool. Have you ever been able to travel to the Philippines before?
    P.S. Its cool that you are still doing stuff with Sharpe!