263059 What leads religious congregations to address HIV?

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 2:45 PM - 3:00 PM

Malcolm Williams, MPP, PhD , Health, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA
Ann Haas, MS, MPH , RAND Health, RAND Corporation, Pittsburgh, PA
Beth Ann Griffin, PhD , RAND Health, RAND Corporation, Arlington, VA
Brad Fulton , Sociology, Duke University, Durham, NC
David E. Kanouse, PhD , RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA
Laura M. Bogart, PhD , Children's Hospital Boston/Harvard Medical School, Harvard University, Boston, MA
Kathryn Pitkin Derose, PhD, MPH , Health Program, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA
Background: Faith-based organizations are uniquely positioned to address the HIV epidemic. They represent trusted social networks that can disseminate health information, and many have a history of engaging in social issues. However, few congregations have developed HIV programs. We examined the extent to which congregational factors and community factors are related to the existence of congregation HIV prevention or care activities. Methods: We used data from a nationally-representative sample of 1,506 congregations surveyed in the National Congregations Study; and measures of HIV prevalence and health compiled by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. We use multinomial logistic regression to assess factors that independently predict existence of a congregation-based health program (not including HIV); and an HIV program relative to no engagement in HIV-related programs. Results: Most congregations (69.8%) had at least one health-related program; fewer (9.9%) had an HIV program. Factors positively associated with having a health program included having an older age congregation, percent of attendees that are of African American, number of adults, number of service programs, and assessing community needs. Factors positively associated with having an HIV program include percent African American, number of paid staff, staff with 25% time devoted to service programs, collaborating with religious, and/or secular organizations, assessing community needs, a statement welcoming homosexuals, an openly HIV positive member, and allowing openly gay members. Conclusions: These results suggest that increasing resources, being externally engaged, and acceptance of gay and/or HIV positive persons can increase a congregation's likelihood of sponsoring an HIV program.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related research
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1)Identify the congregational and community factors that predict whether religious congregations have a program to address HIV. 2)Compare the relative importance of HIV-related stigma, congregational resources, and external engagement in predicting congregational involvement in HIV. 3)Formulate recommendations for policymakers and other key stakeholders (i.e. health care professionals, and religious denominations) to foster greater participation by religious congregations in HIV prevention and care.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Religion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have completed a PhD in Health Policy. I have over 14 yearas exeperience researching and writing about issues related to public health and health care. For the last 4 years I have been researcing and writing about religious congregations involvement in HIV--the topic of this submission.
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.