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Faculty & Student Research Published

MSP is committed to supporting our faculty and students in pursuing academic scholarship outside of the classroom.  When faculty and students collaborate, our community grows stronger.

Dustin Shepler, PhD psychology associate
Dustin Shepler, PhD
Kevin Johnson (PsyD 4)
Alicia Width headshot
Alicia Width (PsyD 3)





Congratulations to Dustin Shepler, PhD (Core Faculty), Kevin Johnson (PsyD 4), and Alicia Width (PsyD 3) for the recent publication of Risky Sexual Behavior and Knowledge of HIV/AIDS Transmission in a Community Sample: Sexual Orientation, Race, and Gender in the Walden University Journal of Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences.


New cases of HIV/AIDS are disproportionately diagnosed among men who identify as lesbian, gay, and bisexual and Black. Reasons for this disparity may be related to differences in knowledge of how HIV/AIDS is transmitted and differences in willingness to engage in risky sexual behaviors. In this study, we examined whether differences in knowledge of HIV/AIDS transmission and engagement in risky sexual behaviors differed among men and women; lesbian, gay, and bisexual and heterosexual people; and White and Black people. Findings indicate knowledge of HIV/AIDS transmission was not related to sexual orientation or gender; however, White participants had higher scores on a measure of knowledge of HIV/AIDS transmission than Black participants. While neither gender nor race seemed to be related to differences in engaging in risky sexual behavior, differences in what types of risky sexual behavior people participated in existed based on sexual orientation. Implications for prevention efforts are addressed.