A national voice for information about HIV infections: The Italian state AIDS hot-line

Mario Tumbarello, Massimo Giuliani, Paolo Benedetti, Patrizio Pezzotti, Catia Valdarchi, Damiano Abeni, Mariella Di Fabio, Carlo Oliva, Francesco Ricci, Barbara Suligoi, Donato Greco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Because of the variety of problems connected with the AIDS epidemic, there is an urgent need for qualified information and counselling. In June 1987, The Italian Ministry of Health established a hot-line, acting within the National AIDS Operational Centre. Through the analysis of more than 39,000 calls received during the first year of activity, a clear outline has been obtained of the emotional impact of the disease on Italian public opinion, and of the problems raised. 67% of callers belong to 20-39 age group; the male/female ratio is 2:1. Interesting correlations have been found between the content of the questions and the sex, age, and type of caller. The vast majority of questions concerning basic concepts and notions about HIV infections are asked by no-risk-related subjects. During the first year, the percentage of questions asked by subjects actually at risk increased, and the questions themselves have become more specific.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-454
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)


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