Online Program

Recruitment of rural African American churches into an HIV/AIDS stigma-reducing clinical trial in Alabama

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 9:15 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Pamela Foster, MD, MPH, Community and Rural Medicine, The University of Alabama School of Medicine, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Issues: HIV/AIDS related stigma has been theorized to be a major barrier for prevention activities in African American communities in the rural South, particularly in churches. Strategies which develop best practices to recruit church members into trials to test stigma-reducing interventions would be beneficial. Description: We were funded to conduct an anti-stigma HIV/AIDS study with rural African American churches in Alabama. We began educating church leaders about the study through use of four ministerial liaisons to prepare for study recruitment. We discuss some of the successes and challenges of engagement of church leaders for our HIV prevention study. Lessons Learned: We addressed church leaders at two events: 1) a World AIDS Day session targeting interdenominational church leadership (25 attendees), and 2) a Fall Regional Business meeting of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (200 attendees). In both settings, we provided information about the impact of HIV in Alabama, the importance of the research for disproportionately affected African Americans, and how persons could participate in our stigma-reduction study. The coordinating ministerial liaisons had no formal HIV education background, only community organizing experience. Church leaders expressed interest in study participation to learn about HIV stigma and contribute to HIV prevention efforts. Recommendations: This early success is likely due to the community organizing skills of the ministerial liaison, interest in HIV prevention efforts within their churches and the support of denominational church leadership. Follow up sessions to clarify study goals and build trust with the research team are planned.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the MARI program. Discuss strategies in early recruitment of rural African American churches in Alabama into an intervention trial.

Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Faith Community

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Preventive Medicine/Public Health physician who currently serves as Associate Professor in the Community and Rural Department at the University of the University of Alabama School of Medicine, Tuscaloosa campus. I also serve as Deputy Director of the Institute for Rural Health Research where my main research area is HIV/AIDS related stigma in African American rural communities in Alabama.
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.