Increasing acceptance of HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment practices through religious leaders and institutions in south Sudan
To increase local capacity for a comprehensive response in the fight against HIV/AIDS, 929 religious leaders and church workers in Western Equatoria and Lakes States were trained on how to utilize religious gatherings, and activities to mobilize community action, raise awareness, educate and advocate for a supportive social cultural environment. Their goal is to organize quality health care delivery as critical stimuli in increasing HIV/AIDS prevention program acceptance, health services utilization and promotion of sustainable public health economic development initiatives.
Baseline and an end-line data showed that: men's knowledge on HIV transmission and prevention increased by 5% in Western Equatorial and 68% in Lakes state. Women' perceived risk of contracting HIV/AIDS increased by 17.8% in Western Equatoria and 10.7% in Lakes state. The number of women seeking HIV counseling and testing services increased by 21.5% in Western Equatoria and 21% in Lakes state.
Interfaith program activities have highlighted the differences in message packaging between the different faiths in ways that are culturally accessible and acceptable to the diverse cultural belief systems influencing infectious disease acquisition, response and prevention in this population.
Using their trust and authority Religious Leaders can change the course of this spiritual, social, economic and political epidemic, HIV/AIDS.
Learning Areas:Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Discuss the unique aspects and merits of engaging influential community-based religious systems to address culturally sensitive issues
Keyword(s): Community Health Promoters, Religion
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I analyzed the data to be presented, interacted with religious participating leaders in the study and have and frequently engaged in the work of FBO's in healthcare delivery and health systems strengthening.
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.