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BMC Public Health. 2018 Dec 19;18(1):1392. doi: 10.1186/s12889-018-6301-0.

Faith leaders' messaging is essential to enhance HIV prevention among black Americans: results from the 2016 National Survey on HIV in the black community (NSHBC).

Author information

1
Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Yale School of Public Health, 60 College Street, LEPH, New Haven, CT, 06510, USA. Yusuf.ransome@yale.edu.
2
RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA, USA.
3
Brown School of Public Health, Providence, RI, USA.
4
Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Fenway Health, Boston, MA, USA.
5
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Baltimore, MD, USA.
6
Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

To investigate whether religious service attendance and faith leaders' messages about HIV and same-sex relationships are associated with acceptance of HIV prevention strategies.

METHODS:

Multivariable Poisson regression assessed whether attending religious services, faith leaders' messages about HIV and same-sex relationships, and supportiveness of those messages were associated with HIV testing, as well as knowledge of and willingness to use pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among 868 Black Americans [45% men; M (SD) = 34 (9) years-old] in the 2016 National Survey on HIV in the Black Community, USA.

RESULTS:

Participants who reported attending services monthly and/or hearing faith leaders' messages that were supportive of same-sex relationships had a significantly higher likelihood of willingness to use PrEP (adjusted Rate Ratio[ARR] = 1.76; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.09, 2.48) and aRR = 2.19; 95% CI = 1.35, 3.55, respectively), independent of HIV risk. Homophobia was significantly associated with higher likelihood of being aware of PrEP and testing for HIV testing in the past 12 months.

CONCLUSIONS:

Faith leaders' messaging can influence Black Americans' perceptions and uptake of HIV prevention strategies. Faith institutions and faith leaders should be involved in designing and disseminating HIV prevention strategies.

KEYWORDS:

HIV prevention; Black American; African-American; Black Church; PrEP; pre-exposure prophylaxis; Religion; Faith Leaders

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