205543 Faith and fidelity: Scaling up and sustaining HIV prevention activities for couples in the Rwandan Catholic church

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dorothy Brewster-Lee, MD, MPH , Catholic Relief Services, Baltimore, MD
Bernadette Bimenyimana , Catholic Relief Services, Baltimore, MD
Background: Catholic Relief Services (CRS) HIV prevention program in Rwanda uses the Faithful House (FH) curriculum to conduct workshops promoting couple's mutual fidelity. In 2008, CRS began an operational research study on FH activities to prepare for expansion and sustainability through institutionalization within churches. Design: This research compares two groups of peer facilitators: catechist couples (one or both spouses are certified in religious instruction) and ordinary couples (neither spouse is certified to provide religious instruction). 21 ordinary couples and 21 catechist couples will be compared using the criteria indicators collected at 9 and 12 month intervals. 11 church leaders will be interviewed as key informants to measure institutionalization. Focus group discussions will be organized for 100 randomly selected FH beneficiaries to assess results of those trained by the comparison facilitators. Results: Data collection is underway; final report will be available in August 2009. Statistical analysis is expected to validate the following theory: targeting FH training towards catechist couples will increase the reach, quality, and sustainability of the FH program. However, ordinary couples may be more representative of the general population and better positioned to reach the general community. Conclusions:The FH program aims to reduce multiple concurrent partnerships through peer learning workshops. This research compares the implementation outcomes of two groups of trained peer facilitators so as to inform the targeting of future CRS FH trainings. The results of this study will have implications in determining effective HIV program implementation models for addressing multiple concurrent partnerships in a faith based setting.

Learning Objectives:
To demonstrate how integration of two existing programs increased program quality and reach while reducing costs for both programs. To describe the use of Operations Research in improving program

Keywords: Faith Community, HIV Interventions

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Senior Program Manager
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.

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