Online Program

Role of religion on HIV testing practices among African American men in the south

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 5:18 p.m. - 5:32 p.m.

Dantrell Simmons, MA, School of Health Sciences, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS
Annajane Yolken, Division of Infectious Diseases, Brown University School of Medicine and The Miriam Hospital, Providence, RI
Sharon Parker, PhD MSW MS, Center for AIDS Research, The Miriam Hospital, Division of Infectious Disease, Providence, RI
Amy Nunn, ScD, Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences and the Rhode Island Public Health Institute, Brown University School of Public Health, Providence, RI
In Mississippi, African American men account for 52% of all reported HIV cases. Factors such as religion contribute to HIV risk behaviors among African American men. However, the role that religion plays in HIV testing is unexplored in Mississippi. A cross-sectional pilot study was conducted with 46 African American Men residing in Jackson, MS. A self-assessment was used to gauge Family Religious Emphasis (FRE), current membership and frequent attendance at a local faith-based organization (FBO), religious affiliation, and HIV testing history. Chi-squared tests and Logistic Regression were used to measure an association between the aforementioned factors. Forty-three percent of the participants reported current membership at a local FBO, and 60% reported a Baptist affiliation. Twenty-four percent of the participants reported attending service a few times a year. Scores for FRE ranged from 8-21 (mean=15.34), and 78% reported having been tested for HIV in the past 6 months. While there was no relationship between current membership, frequency of attendance, and religious affiliation with HIV testing in the past 6 months (p>.05), there was an association between FRE and HIV Testing (p= 0.017). Eighteen percent of the variation in HIV testing was explained by FRE, and participants with higher scores of FRE were 1.5 times more likely to be tested for HIV within 6 months (p= 0.018). Family emphasis on religion seems to serve as a protective factor for encouraging HIV testing. Given the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, using family and religion may be helpful in increasing testing and treatment efforts.

Learning Areas:

Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Compare HIV testing practices among African American Men aged 18 and over who self report a current affiliation with a local Faith-based Organization.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently a doctoral student in the field of epidemiology. I also hold a Master's of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology with experience of providing group and individual therapy in regards to the effects of HIV/AIDS. Previously, I have worked on a Program Evaluation Team where I assessed the effectiveness of an HIV DEBI prevention program.
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.