In the pews and in the community: Sexual risk behaviors among African American church and community members
Monday, November 4, 2013
: 5:32 p.m. - 5:46 p.m.
HIV rates continue to burden the African American community. African American churches may be well-positioned to extend reach of HIV services to African Americans who sit in their pews and those who receive services/goods through church outreach ministries (e.g., daycare and recovery programs) and who may be at risk for HIV. Little information exists on sexual risk behaviors among African American church members and the communities they serve. Surveys were administered to church and community members who used church outreach services in four African American churches in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Participants (N=543) completed survey questions regarding their sexual risks (e.g., sex while high on drugs/alcohol, number of sex partners) in the past six months and in their lifetime. Of the sample, 91.3% of community participants identified as Christian (51.6% Baptist, 39.7% female), and 96% of church participants identified as Christian (31% Baptist, 70.2% female). Community members reported significantly more sex partners than church members in the past six months (1.72 vs. 1.28 partners, respectively; p=.007) and over the course of their lifetime (22.7 vs. 10.24 sex partners, respectively; p=.001). Community members were also significantly more likely to engage in sex while on drugs or alcohol than church members (p=.002). However, church members used condoms significantly less frequently than their community counterparts in the past six months (p<.001) and in their lifetime (p=.009). Future research is needed on facilitators and barriers to designing/implementing religiously-appropriate HIV interventions that address African American church and community members' specific sexual risk behaviors.
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health administration or related administration
Social and behavioral sciences
Discuss the role of the church within the African American community and its interaction with church and community members sexual risk behaviors.
Keyword(s): Faith Community, African American
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a current doctoral student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a researcher in the Taking It to the Pews (TIPS) intervention process. My scientific interests are the development of culturally-based HIV and STI reduction interventions.
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.