Feasibility and Outcomes of an HIV Testing Intervention in African American Churches
The updated National HIV/AIDS Strategy recommends widespread HIV education and testing and calls the faith community to assist in these efforts. Yet, limited information exist on church-based HIV testing interventions. This study examined feasibility and assessed HIV testing outcomes of Taking It to the Pews (TIPS), a multilevel HIV education and testing intervention. Four African American churches were matched and randomized to TIPS or a standard-information control arm. Intervention churches delivered the religiously-tailored TIPS Tool Kit, which included educational materials to individuals and ministry groups; pastoral activities (e.g., sermons preached, receipt of HIV testing role-modeled), responsive readings, and church bulletin inserts in church services; and HIV testing during church services and church outreach events. All churches delivered 2–3 tools/month and coordinated 3 HIV testing events. At 12 months, significant increases in receipt of HIV testing (59% vs. 42%, p = 0.008), and particularly church-based testing (54% vs. 15%, p < 0.001), relative to controls were found. TIPS has great potential to increase reach, feasibility, and impact of HIV testing in African American churches.
KeywordsHIV testing Faith-based Religiosity Multilevel model Community-based participatory research Theory of planned behavior Sexual risks
This research was supported by the National Institutes of Mental Health (K01 MH082640-02). The authors gratefully acknowledge the tremendous contributions of our health partners (KCMO Health Department, KC Care Health Center, and JayDoc Free Clinic) along with the committed implementation of Taking It to the Pews by church leaders with their church members and community members served through their outreach ministries. The authors would also like to thank Nia Johnson for assisting in preparing this paper for submission.
This study was funded by NIMH (K01 MH082640).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Research Involved in Animal Rights
This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.
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