Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 51, Issue 2, pp 371–380 | Cite as

Proportion of US Congregations that have People Living with HIV

Original Paper


Surveillance studies monitor the prevalence and incidence of HIV, and this information is used by policy makers to design prevention programs and facilitate care for people living with HIV (PLWHIV). Although most of these studies monitor the presence of PLWHIV in the general population or specific communities, some assess the presence of PLWHIV in organizations. One type of organization that has not been examined, yet could potentially play a large role in caring for PLWHIV, is the religious congregation. In this study, we estimate the proportion of US religious congregations that have PLWHIV and examine whether congregations that are in contact with populations with high HIV prevalence and incidence rates are more likely to have PLWHIV using data from a nationally representative sample of congregations and the 2000 Census. Over 10,000 congregations have PLWHIV, and congregations containing, open to, or located in areas with populations with high HIV prevalence and incidence rates are more likely to have them. This study offers new insight into the presence of HIV in the United States and provides information about which congregations may be amenable to serving as sites of HIV programs.


Congregations HIV/AIDS Organizations Religion Surveillance 



The project was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (#0452269) as well as grants from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. (2006-1675-000), the Kellogg Foundation (P0118042), and the Louisville Institute (2005105). These grants supported the collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data. Data collection was handled by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, and the data were cleaned at Duke University, Durham, NC. The authors would like to thank Kim Blankenship, Brad Fulton, and Steven Foy for their helpful comments on earlier versions of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Sociology and ReligionDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Divinity School, Duke UniversityDurhamUSA

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