248329 C word: Challenges and considerations in implementing a youth HIV/AIDS prevention curriculum in the context of the Black Church

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 12:30 PM

Alexandra Lightfoot, EdD , Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Linda Riggins, BA , Strengthening The Black Family, Raleigh, NC
Melvin Jackson, MSPH , Strengthening The Black Family, Inc, Raleigh, NC
Briana Woods, PhD , Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Kimberly Brodie, PhD, CHES , Strengthening The Black Family, Inc., Raleigh, NC
Phyllis Gray, MPH , Strengthening The Black Family, Inc, Raleigh, NC
Kathleen Krieger, BA , Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC
Lucille Webb, MEd , Strengthening The Black Family, Inc, Raleigh, NC
Background: According to a Gallup survey, 52% of African American teens say faith is the most important influence in their lives. A recent study in the southeastern United States indicates that African American faith leaders are aware that risk behavior impacts adolescents in their congregations, but they are reluctant to discuss certain topics critical to HIV prevention such as condom use (Francis et al., 2009). With the alarming disparities of HIV/AIDS among African American adolescents, these findings warrant heightened efforts to find ways to partner with the Black Church to encourage prevention efforts. Methods: Our team took a CBPR approach to implement Focus on Youth! with Informed Parents and Children Together, an evidence-based HIV/AIDS intervention, with adolescents in church youth groups. Strengthening The Black Family, a community-based organization in Southeast Raleigh, NC, reached out to youth, parents, and local faith leaders to develop a Community Advisory Board to provide project oversight, ensure the intervention was appropriate for youth in the community, and garner support from stakeholders. Lessons Learned: This presentation highlights lessons learned through our partnership development and intervention implementation process. Challenges included navigating conflicting perspectives about condom education given the Church's abstinence teachings. Considerations included reaching out to pastors with cultural humility, grounded in understanding of the Black Church, and engaging youth and parents as advocates for HIV prevention in the church context. Conclusions: Finding effective ways to implement HIV/AIDS prevention in faith settings is facilitated by engaging diverse community partners throughout the research process using a CBPR approach.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the challenges of implementing an HIV/AIDS prevention intervention for youth in faith settings. 2. Identify strategies for garnering support for HIV/AIDS education and prevention in the Black Church. 3. Discuss the benefits of engaging youth, parents and faith leaders in a Community Advisory Board to guide program and research implementation.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am Principal Investigator on this research study. I am also Assistant Director for Community-Based Participatory Research at the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.
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.