263380 Factors contributing to the development of an HIV ministry within an African American church

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Jennifer M. Stewart, PhD, RN , Center for Healthy Equity Research/School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Background: Having an HIV ministry within a church depends on the religious culture of that church. However, little is known about how a church's religious culture influences an HIV ministry. This study's purpose was to examine how an African American church's religious culture supported the development, implementation, and maintenance of an HIV ministry within the church. Methods: An ethnographic case study research design was used. Data were collected through interviews (n=9), non-participant and participant observations, review of pertinent documents, and survey of congregants (n=50). Results: Results revealed the following themes as important for an HIV ministry: (a) a belief in helping others and treating everyone with respect and dignity, (b) feelings of compassion toward individuals infected with HIV, and (c) promotion of HIV education and awareness. Conclusions: The data showed that religious culture can be instrumental in providing a framework for understanding and supporting the church's role in an HIV Ministry. This information can assist in developing interventions to enhance the African American church's movement toward HIV ministries, risk reduction and support of HIV positive persons.

Learning Areas:
Program planning
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the role of religious culture in the development, implementation and maintenance of an HIV Ministry in an African American Church. Identify factors that support the development, implementation and maintenance of an HIV Ministry in an African American Church.

Keywords: Faith Community, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator on a study of the role of the African American Church in HIV. My interests include faith and community based HIV interventions for risk reduction and promotion of sexual health in the African American community.
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.