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African American Clergy Share Perspectives on Addressing Sexual Health and HIV Prevention in Premarital Counseling: A Pilot Study

Abstract

This exploratory qualitative pilot study examined the extent to which seven African American clergy discussed and promoted sexual health dialogue with couples preparing for marriage. We explored the following topics: (a) clergy perspectives on disclosure; (b) clergy awareness about HIV/AIDS and (c) the extent to which clergy awareness about HIV is translated into their premarital counseling programs. Our results suggest that greater awareness and comfort level with discussions about sexuality mediate the inclusion of sexual health and promotion of HIV testing in premarital counseling.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    This study was conducted in the southeastern region of the United States where legalized marriage is between a man and a woman. In some states where same-sex marriages may be legalized other implications for premarital counseling should be considered.

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Acknowledgments

Special acknowledgements to Stephanie Blackett for her assistance with transcriptions and the 2007 Unicoi Writing Retreat for their immeasurable encouragement.

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Correspondence to Tiffiany M. Cummings Aholou.

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Aholou, T.M.C., Gale, J.E. & Slater, L.M. African American Clergy Share Perspectives on Addressing Sexual Health and HIV Prevention in Premarital Counseling: A Pilot Study. J Relig Health 50, 330–347 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-009-9257-7

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Keywords

  • African American Clergy
  • Sexual health
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Couples health
  • Premarital counseling