157814 Promotion of mutual monogamy in churches in the Eastern Cape, South Africa: Usefulness and acceptability of Making the Promise, Keeping the Promise - A Faith-based Curriculum for Promoting Mutual Monogamy

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Waimar Tun, PhD , Population Council/Horizons, Washington, DC
Eka Williams, PhD , Population Council/Horizons, Johannesburg, South Africa
Nathi Sohaba , Population Council/Horizons, Johannesburg, South Africa
Issue: In South Africa, where multiple sex partnerships outside primary relationships are common, particularly among men, HIV prevention programs focusing on mutual monogamy (MM) are needed. Churches and faith-based organizations (FBO) are well-respected and trusted institutions for promoting faithfulness as part of an HIV prevention strategy.

Description: Formative research was conducted to determine local norms and perceptions of MM among church/FBO leaders and members. Using these findings, Population Council, Eastern Cape Provincial Council of Churches and South African Council of Churches developed a 3-day training curriculum on MM and HIV, and related topics including communication, gender-based violence, and gender relations. After pre-test and subsequent adaptation, the curriculum was used to train 181 church/FBO leaders and volunteers from 5 churches, who, in turn, facilitated similar workshops for couples in their churches. To assess the receptivity and usefulness of the curriculum, in-depth interviews with two trainers and a sample of trainees were conducted.

Outcomes: The trainers found the curriculum easy to use. Trainees were enthusiastic about the participatory exercises and the knowledge and skills learned, including the confidence to talk about HIV with their partner and peers. Many indicated that it was the first time they discussed ways to maintain a healthy and mutually monogamous relationship. Trainees wanted more time spent on each topic and the sessions to be offered to church members on a regular basis.

Next steps: The curriculum is being used to train more church leaders in Eastern Cape. An evaluation of the program effectiveness is currently being conducted.

Learning Objectives:
- Describe the purpose of the Making the Promise, Keeping the Promise curriculum; and - Discuss the role of church/FBO leaders and volunteers in promoting mutual monogamy among couple

Keywords: Faith Community, Curricula

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.