This project established a faith-based, university–community partnership with the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church in Alabama to develop a statewide training model to address human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) knowledge and stigma, promote discussion and generate action plans to address HIV in the Deep South.
A community-engaged research team consisting of church leadership and UAB researchers developed and implemented the model, including Dr. Robin Lanzi, Ms. Alison Footman, Mr. Brook Araya, Dr. Kathryn Kaiser, Department of Health Behavior, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, Mr. Edward Jackson, Center for AIDS Research, and Dr. Corilyn Ott, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine at UAB.
Within the United States, over 1.1 million people are infected with HIV, and one out of seven individuals are unaware of their infection status. Of great interest in HIV prevention among African Americans is the role that religion and the church can play in lowering the risk of acquiring and transmitting HIV by reducing existing stigma. The team developed the training model using a Head (education), Heart (faith journey), Feet (resources) framework.
This faith-based HIV training has the potential to serve as the foundational model program for the AME church and other faith communities throughout the country in developing and implementing HIV training in the faith community and in creating an innovative faith-based HIV intervention with African American pastors, church leaders, and youth ministries. These results reflect that partnerships between academic institutions and churches can deliver promising steps towards impactful HIV education in the Deep South.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on February 21