AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 76–90 | Cite as

Feasibility and Outcomes of an HIV Testing Intervention in African American Churches

  • Jannette Y. Berkley-PattonEmail author
  • Carole Bowe Thompson
  • Erin Moore
  • Starlyn Hawes
  • Marcie Berman
  • Jenifer Allsworth
  • Eric Williams
  • Cassandra Wainright
  • Andrea Bradley-Ewing
  • Alexandria G. Bauer
  • Delwyn Catley
  • Kathy Goggin
Original Paper


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.


HIV 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.

Ethical Approval

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

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.


  1. 1.
    White House Office of National AIDS Policy. National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States. 2015. uploads/NHAS.pdf.
  2. 2.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV Surveillance Report, 2013. 2015.
  3. 3.
    Chandra A, Billioux VG, Copen CE, et al. HIV testing in the U.S. household population aged 15-44: Data from the National Survey of Family Growth, 2006-2010. National health statistics reports; no 58. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2012.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kaiser Family Foundation. HIV testing in the United States. 2011 June.
  5. 5.
    Branson BM, Handsfield HH, Lampe MA, et al. Revised recommendations for HIV testing of adults, adolescents, and pregnant women in health-care settings. MMWR. 2006;55(14):1–17.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC health disparities and inequalities report—United States 2011. Health Insurance Coverage—United States, 2008 and 2010. MMWR. 2013;62(Suppl 3):61–64.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bogart LM, Wagner GJ, Green HD Jr, et al. Medical mistrust among social network members may contribute to antiretroviral treatment nonadherence in African Americans living with HIV. Soc Sci Med. 2016;164:133–40. Scholar
  8. 8.
    Leibowitz AA, Taylor SL. Distance to public test sites and HIV testing. Med Care Res Rev. 2007;64(5):568–84. Scholar
  9. 9.
    Berkley-Patton J, Hawes SM, Moore E, Bowe-Thompson C, Williams E, Martinez D. Examining facilitators and barriers to HIV testing in African American churches using a community-based participatory research approach. Ann Behav Med. 2012;43:s277.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Derose KP, Mendel PJ, Palar K, et al. Religious congregations’ involvement in HIV: a case study approach. AIDS Behav. 2011;15(6):1220–32. Scholar
  11. 11.
    Mannheimer SB, Wang L, Wilton L, et al. Infrequent HIV testing and late HIV diagnosis are common among a cohort of Black men who have sex with men in 6 US cities. J AIDS. 2014;67(4):438–45. Scholar
  12. 12.
    Berkley-Patton J, Martinez D, Bowe-Thompson C, et al. Examining church capacity to develop and disseminate a religiously-appropriate HIV tool kit with African American churches. J Urban Health. 2012;90(3):482–99.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Campbell MK, Hudson MA, Resnicow K, Blakeney N, Paxton A, Baskin M. Church-based health promotion interventions: evidence and lessons learned. Annu Rev Public Health. 2007;28:213–34.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Lincoln CE, Mamiya LH. The Black Church and the African American experience. Durham, NC: Duke University Press; 1990.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Pew Research Center. America’s changing religious landscape. Washington, DC.
  16. 16.
    Agate LL, Cato-Watson DM, Mullins JM, et al. Churches United to stop HIV (CUSH): a faith-based HIV prevention initiative. J Nat Med Assoc. 2005;97(7 Suppl):60S.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Berkley-Patton J, Bowe-Thompson C, Bradley-Ewing A, et al. Taking It to the Pews: a CBPR-guided HIV awareness and screening project with Black churches. AIDS Educ Prev. 2010;22(3):218–37.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Griffith DM, Campbell B, Allen JO, Robinson KJ, Stewart SK. YOUR Blessed Health: an HIV-prevention program bridging faith and public health communities. Public Health Rep. 2010;125(1_suppl):4–11.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Whiters DL, Santibanez S, Dennison D, Clark HW. A case study in collaborating with Atlanta-based African-American churches: a promising means for reaching inner-city substance users with rapid HIV testing. J Evid Based Soc Work. 2010;7(1):103–14. Scholar
  20. 20.
    Derose KP, Griffin BA, Kanouse DE, et al. Effects of a pilot church-based intervention to reduce HIV stigma and promote HIV testing among African Americans and Latinos. AIDS Behav. 2016;20(8):1692–705. Scholar
  21. 21.
    Bronfenbrenner U. The ecology of human development: experiments by design and nature. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; 1979.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Ajzen I. The theory of planned behavior. Organ Behav Hum Decis Process. 1991;50(2):179–211.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Craw JA, Gardner LI, Marks G, et al. Brief strengths-based case management promotes entry into HIV medical care: results of the antiretroviral treatment access study-II. J AIDS. 2008;47(5):597–606.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Connors GJ, Tonigan JS, Miller WR. A measure of religious background and behavior for use in behavior change research. Psychol Addict Behav. 1996;10(2):90.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV Surveillance Report, 2009. 2011.
  26. 26.
    Herek GM, Capitanion JP, Widaman KF. HIV-related stigma and knowledge in the United States: prevalence and trends, 1991-1999. Am J Public Health. 2002;92(3):371–7.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Herek GM. AIDS and stigma in the United States. Am Behav Sci. 1999;42(7):1130–47.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Gates G. In US, more adults identifying as LGBT. Gallup (Jan 2017).
  29. 29.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV testing trends in the United States, 2000-2011. Atlanta, Georgia: 2013 Jan.
  30. 30.
    Copen CE, Chandra A, Febo-Vazques I. HIV testing in the past year among the U.S. household population aged 15-44: 2011-2013. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2015. NCHS data brief, no 202.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Kaiser Family Foundation. 2012 Survey of Americans on HIV/AIDS. 2012.
  32. 32.
    Spoeth SK, Lee NR, Fraze, JL, et al. Utilizing social marketing to increase HIV testing in African American women: lessons from CDC’s Take Charge, Take the Test Campaign. Presented at the National HIV Prevention Conference; 2007; Atlanta, GA.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Bryant-Davis T, Ellis MU, Edwards N, et al. The role of the Black Church in HIV prevention: exploring barriers and best practices. J Community Appl Soc Psychol. 2016;26(5):388–408. Scholar
  34. 34.
    Pichon LC, Powell TW. Review of HIV testing efforts in historically black churches. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015;12(6):6016–26. Scholar
  35. 35.
    Davis DT, Bustamante A, Brown CP, et al. The urban church and cancer control: a source of social influence in minority communities. Public Health Rep. 1994;109(4):500–6.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Lumpkins CY, Vanchy P, Baker TA, Daley C, Ndikum-Moffer F, Greiner KA. Marketing a healthy mind, body, and soul: an analysis of how African American men view the church as a social marketer and health promoter of colorectal cancer risk and prevention. Health Educ Behav. 2016;43(4):452–60. Scholar
  37. 37.
    Aholou TM, Cooks E, Murray A, et al. “Wake Up! HIV is at Your Door”: African American faith leaders in the rural south and HIV perceptions: a qualitative analysis. J Relig Health. 2016;55(6):1968–78. Scholar
  38. 38.
    Berkley-Patton, J, Bowe-Thompson, C, Bradley-Ewing, A, Williams, E. Taking It to the Pews: a feasibility study of an HIV education and prevention tool kit approach with African American churches. Ann Behav Med. 2009;37(Suppl 1):D75, s201.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Pichon LC, Powell TW, Ogg SA, Williams AL, Becton-Odum N. Factors influencing Black Churches’ readiness to address HIV. J Relig Health. 2016;55(3):918–27. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jannette Y. Berkley-Patton
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carole Bowe Thompson
    • 1
  • Erin Moore
    • 2
  • Starlyn Hawes
    • 3
  • Marcie Berman
    • 4
  • Jenifer Allsworth
    • 1
  • Eric Williams
    • 5
  • Cassandra Wainright
    • 5
  • Andrea Bradley-Ewing
    • 6
  • Alexandria G. Bauer
    • 1
  • Delwyn Catley
    • 7
  • Kathy Goggin
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics, School of MedicineUniversity of Missouri-Kansas CityKansas CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyStetson UniversityDeLandUSA
  3. 3.Psychiatric Medicine AssociatesSeattleUSA
  4. 4.The Institute for Community ResearchHartfordUSA
  5. 5.Calvary Community Outreach NetworkKansas CityUSA
  6. 6.Health Services and Outcomes Research, Children’s Mercy Kansas CityKansas CityUSA
  7. 7.Center for Children’s Healthy Lifestyles & Nutrition, Children’s Mercy Kansas CityKansas CityUSA

Personalised recommendations