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The Perception of Religious Leaders on HIV and Their Role in HIV Prevention: A Case Study of African, Caribbean, and Black (ACB) Communities in Windsor, Ontario


This paper explores the perception of African, Caribbean, and Black (ACB) religious leaders on HIV vulnerability and their role in HIV prevention among ACB communities in Windsor, Ontario. We conducted one semi-structured focus group discussion with nine Black religious leaders, most of whose congregants are members of the ACB community. Most religious leaders in the focus group had a negative perception of the transmission of HIV, but they acknowledged their own important role in HIV prevention strategies. This role is collaborative in nature, from the stage of designing HIV prevention strategies to implementing prevention messages. The religious leaders noted, however, that some challenges, such as church doctrine and congregational culture, are likely to impede their HIV prevention efforts.

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This study was funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) (Grant Number TE2-138354) and the Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN) (Grant Number 1052) as part of the research project on Reducing HIV vulnerabilities and promoting resilience among self-identified heterosexual African, Caribbean, and Black (ACB) Men in Ontario.

Author information




All authors contributed to the development of this manuscript. The focus group discussion was conducted by FIO, whereas the transcription and analysis of data was conducted by NWJ, upon completion, FIO and JK reviewed the transcriptions and analysis. Then the first author drafted this manuscript, and all authors reviewed and commented on previous versions of this manuscript. The final draft was read and approved for submission by all authors.

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Correspondence to Neema William Jangu.

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No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.

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All ethical considerations involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the University of Windsor Ethics Review Board (REB number 15-088) and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Jangu, N.W., Omorodion, F.I. & Kerr, J. The Perception of Religious Leaders on HIV and Their Role in HIV Prevention: A Case Study of African, Caribbean, and Black (ACB) Communities in Windsor, Ontario. J Relig Health (2021).

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  • Religious leaders
  • HIV
  • ACB communities
  • HIV prevention