208679 HIV/AIDS and the Black church: A qualitative evaluation of a church in a metropolitan area

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Natasha J. Davis, EdD, MPH, MSW , Department of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
A letter that explained the purpose of the study was mailed to churches who met the study criteria. The inclusion criterion was that interviewees self-identify as African American or black and be a clergy leader of a predominantly African American or Black church congregation. For the purposes of this presentation an in-depth analysis is based on one Baptist church affiliation located in the northeast. The researcher conducted semi-structured interviews with the senior pastor, associate pastor, and leader of the HIV ministry on mobilizing a community to get hundreds of people tested for HIV.

The senior pastor is a male less than 50 years old and has a doctorate degree. He has been the pastor of the church for 15 years. There are over 10,000 church members. The church is involved in social action and outreach including providing HIV testing and counseling. Other HIV- related activities include distribution of literature and monetary donations for international HIV. Barriers identified to the fight against HIV/AIDS include human sexuality, homosexuality and stigma. This church represents a fundamental shift in the way some Black churches confront HIV. The study demonstrates that while recognizing various barriers and challenges to their prevention work--including homosexuality, stigma, and lack of education in the Black church, churches are willing, nonetheless, to move beyond the discourse around HIV and the Black church and to take meaningful action. In sum, this represents a fundamental change in how some Black churches are approaching HIV/AIDS in the Black community.

Learning Objectives:
describe the process for mobilizing the community to implement HIV/AIDS related activities in a Black mega church. list several recommendations for health professionals who want to partner with predominately African American churches to engage in HIV/AIDS and other health activities. discuss several key factors in developing academic or governmental partnerships with the Black church in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, African American

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Principal Investigator on the study
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.