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Public Health Rep. 2000 Nov-Dec; 115(6): 544–556.
PMCID: PMC1308626

Faith communities and HIV/AIDS prevention in New York State: results of a statewide survey.


OBJECTIVES: The authors surveyed religious congregations in New York State to document the extent to which HIV/AIDS-related education and prevention services were being offered; to identify barriers to offering services; and to assess respondents' willingness to meet with HIV/AIDS service providers in their communities. METHODS: In October 1997, a questionnaire was mailed to all congregations in New York State. Due to an initially poor response rate, follow-up telephone interviews were made to a random sample of non-respondents. Survey responses were weighted to represent all congregations across New York State. RESULTS: Just 16.7% of congregations provided or facilitated HIV/AIDS-related prevention services. Respondents cited both attitudinal and resource-related reasons for not offering services. There was a striking discordance between respondents' perceptions of the need for HIV/AIDS prevention services in their communities and an objective measure of need created by the Health Department. Approximately half of survey respondents expressed willingness to meet with HIV/AIDS service providers. CONCLUSION: Follow-up efforts to increase the number of religious congregations providing, facilitating, or offering referrals to HIV/AIDS-related education and prevention services are warranted.

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