Real talk: A partnership to bring HIV/AIDS education and awareness to a local church congregation
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
BACKGROUND: HIV has a devastating effect on the African American community. The Black Church has had a historic involvement in advocacy. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to encourage faith leaders to engage in HIV advocacy, work to eliminate the stigma associated with the disease, and deliver proven community-driven strategies to reduce the disparity. METHOD: A total of 57 members of a local Black church in Memphis, TN participated in 1 of 2 education sessions delivered by a panel of HIV-infected women and health service providers. Each session featured open discussions on misconceptions and stigmas concerning HIV/AIDS risks and transmission, while also providing strategies to reduce and/or eliminate its spread. Sessions were organized by student researchers at LeMoyne-Owen College and Pastoral staff at a local church. Pre/post assessments were administered to measure participant level of knowledge of behavioral risks, prevention strategies for transmission, and importance of HIV testing. RESULTS: Results showed that 47% of church members reported being very concerned about HIV/AIDS in the African-American Community. However, 40% had never been tested for the virus. The most reported stigma was you could tell an individual is infected by the way they look. However, pre-test results showed that more than 50% reported having no prior personal interaction with HIV infected persons. Post-test results revealed a significant knowledge gain on risks of transmission. DISCUSSION: Through education, awareness and empowerment, the Black church, as grassroots networks, can strategically play a major role in the prevention of HIV/AIDS.
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Lists misconceptions and stigmas associated with risk and transmission of HIV/AIDS within the context of the faith community.
Discuss prevention strategies to reduce and/or eliminate the risk of HIV/AIDS transmission.
Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Faith Community
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Student Health Ambassador in the LeMoyne-Owen College/Meharry Medical College HBCU Wellness Program. I also hold certifications in HIV testing and safe sex coaching for students and the 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.