Take someone's hand and go get tested: Successful motivational strategies for AA church-based HIV testing
methodology: The present study examined the effects of exposure to several motivational and promotional strategies (e.g., freely available HIV testing, peer observation) on the likelihood of participants receiving HIV testing at their church. On a survey, 550 study participants were asked if they had received an HIV test at their church. Participants were also asked about the factors that had made it easier for them to do so. Participants' responses were analyzed using logistic regression tests.
results: 310 survey participants received HIV testing at their church (56%). Individuals who were asked by someone else to be tested with them were 14.7 times more likely to be tested during the church service (p = .012). Having seen the pastor tested in front of the church was also significantly predictive of individuals’ being tested (p = .048).
conclusions: Peer influence may play a major role in the decision to be tested for HIV. Exploring those strategies that motivate members of the AA church population to receive HIV testing can inform future interventions aimed at reducing the stigma associated with being tested. Next steps include the scaling up of effective motivational strategies within additional church settings, and with increased implementation frequency.
Learning Areas:Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe the unique role that the AA church plays in the effort to increase HIV testing among African Americans. Demonstrate understanding of specific types of motivational strategies that can be used to promote HIV testing among AA church members.
Keyword(s): Faith Community, Community-Based Research (CBPR)
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the investigator or co-investigator of multiple federally-funded grants focusing on the ways in which environmental conditions influence human behaviors related to public health concerns (i.e., HIV testing). Among my scientific interests has been the development of strategies for reducing health disparities within the AA 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.