Current HIV/AIDS Reports

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 324–332

Spirituality and Religion among HIV-Infected Individuals

Authors

    • Department of SociologyUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham
    • Department Health BehaviorUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham
Behavioral Aspects of HIV Management (RJ DiClemente and JL Brown, Section Editors)

DOI: 10.1007/s11904-013-0175-7

Cite this article as:
Szaflarski, M. Curr HIV/AIDS Rep (2013) 10: 324. doi:10.1007/s11904-013-0175-7

Abstract

Spirituality and religion are important to many people living with HIV (PLWH). Recent research has focused on special populations (ethnic-minorities, women, and youth), spirituality/religion measurement, mediating/moderating mechanisms, and individual and community-level interventions. Spirituality/religion in PLWH has been refined as a multidimensional phenomenon, which improves health/quality of life directly and through mediating factors (healthy behaviors, optimism, social support). Spirituality/religion helps people to cope with stressors, especially stigma/discrimination. Spiritual interventions utilizing the power of prayer and meditation and addressing spiritual struggle are under way. Faith-based community interventions have focused on stigma and could improve individual outcomes through access to spiritual/social support and care/treatment for PLWA. Community engagement is necessary to design/implement effective and sustainable programs. Future efforts should focus on vulnerable populations; utilize state-of-the-art methods (randomized clinical trials, community-based participatory research); and, address population-specific interventions at individual and community levels. Clinical and policy implications across geographic settings also need attention.

Keywords

Spirituality Religion Religiosity Faith Religious organizations Faith-based organizations HIV AIDS People living with HIV Outcomes Well-being Quality of life Stress Coping Social support Spiritual support Spiritual health Spiritual well-being Stigma

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013