A Review of Faith-Based HIV Prevention Programs

ArticleinJournal of Religion and Health 48(1):6-15 · April 2009with25 Reads
DOI: 10.1007/s10943-008-9171-4 · Source: PubMed
Abstract
HIV disproportionately affects people of color, suggesting a need for innovative prevention programs and collaborations as part of prevention efforts. African Americans have close ties to the church and faith-based organizations. African American faith communities were slow to address HIV prevention, but in recent years, they have become more involved in such activities. This study reviews the empirical literature on faith-based HIV prevention programs among African American populations. Several successful faith-based/public health collaborations are identified, and the limitations and strengths of faith-based prevention programs are discussed. Recommendations are provided for developing effective faith-based/public health collaborations.
    • "There is considerable heterogeneity in the types of sexual health communication occurring in Black churches (Berkley-Patton et al., 2013; Cunningham, Kerrigan, McNeely, & Ellen, 2011; Francis & Liverpool, 2009; Lease & Shulman, 2003; Williams, Dodd, Campbell, Pichon, & Griffith, 2014a). Earlier research has emphasized the less favorable aspect of African American clergywho expressed religious messages that connectHIV with sinful behavior, reinforcing religiously based stigma toward the disease (Fullilove & Fullilove, 1999; Smith, Simmons, & Mayer, 2005). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Research suggests that sexual health communication is associated with safer sex practices. In this study, we examined the relationship between church attendance and sexual health topics discussed with both friends and sexual partners among a sample of urban Black women. Participants were 434 HIV-negative Black women who were at high risk for contracting HIV through heterosexual sex. They were recruited from Baltimore, Maryland using a network-based sampling approach. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews and Audio-Computer-Assisted Self-Interviews. Fifty-four percent of the participants attended church once a month or more (regular attendees). Multivariate logistic regression analyses revealed that regular church attendance among high-risk HIV-negative Black women was a significant predictor of the number of sexual health topics discussed with both friends (AOR = 1.85, p = .003) and sexual partners (AOR = 1.68, p = .014). Future efforts to reduce HIV incidence among high-risk Black women may benefit from partnerships with churches that equip faith leaders and congregants with the tools to discuss sexual health topics with both their sexual partners and friends.
    Article · May 2015
    • "Despite this ability to promote health [22] and shape members' perceptions of health behaviors [31] involvement of black churches in sexually transmitted HIV prevention has been limited32333435. Challenges noted have included financial restraint [33, 34, 36] , concerns with homosexuality and promiscuity and their association with HIV/AIDS32333435 37] time constraints [34], lack of understanding about the disease [38], difficulty with discussions about sexuality [34, 38] and low perceptions of risk for HIV/AIDS among churchgoers [32, 34, 35]. More recently, researchers have explored and validated black church interest and willingness to engage in HIV prevention activities [33–35, 39, 40] ; however , HIV prevention can be broadly defined and little is still known about how to translate existing HIV prevention evidence to black church settings. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The black church is influential in shaping health behaviors within African-American communities, yet few use evidence-based strategies for HIV prevention (abstinence, monogamy, condoms, voluntary counseling and testing, and prevention with positives). Using principles of grounded theory and interpretive description, we explored the social construction of HIV prevention within black Baptist churches in North Carolina. Data collection included interviews with church leaders (n = 12) and focus groups with congregants (n = 7; 36 participants). Analytic tools included open coding and case-level comparisons. Social constructions of HIV/AIDS prevention were influenced by two worldviews: public health and church-based. Areas of compatibility and incompatibility exist between the two worldviews that inform acceptability and adaptability of current evidence-based strategies. These findings offer insight into ways to increase the compatibility of evidence-based HIV prevention strategies within the black Baptist church context.
    Article · Mar 2014
    • "These horizontal partnerships serve as mutually beneficial resources that build on community assets and capacity, promoting intervention sustainability. Also, partnering with churches in this context can lend credibility to HIV/AIDS prevention interventions within the local community, increase its reach, and more effectively target the needs of community stakeholders and affected individuals (Francis and Liverpool 2009; Wandersman 2003). With the aforementioned benefits of upstream intervention designs and the importance of the church in the African American community in mind, Project Fostering AIDS Initiatives That Heal (F.A.I.T.H) was established. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Though race and region are not by themselves risk factors for HIV infection, regional and racial disparities exist in the burden of HIV/AIDS in the US. Specifically, African Americans in the southern US appear to bear the brunt of this burden due to a complex set of upstream factors like structural and cultural influences that do not facilitate HIV/AIDS awareness, HIV testing, or sexual risk-reduction techniques while perpetuating HIV/AIDS-related stigma. Strategies proposed to mitigate the burden among this population have included establishing partnerships and collaborations with non-traditional entities like African American churches and other faith-based organizations. Though efforts to partner with the African American church are not necessarily novel, most of these efforts do not present a model that focuses on building the capacity of the African American church to address these upstream factors and sustain these interventions. This article will describe Project Fostering AIDS Initiatives That Heal (F.A.I.T.H), a faith-based model for successfully developing, implementing, and sustaining locally developed HIV/AIDS prevention interventions in African American churches in South Carolina. This was achieved by engaging the faith community and the provision of technical assistance, grant funding and training for project personnel. Elements of success, challenges, and lessons learned during this process will also be discussed.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013
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