Empowering Latino church leaders to deal with the HIV-AIDS crisis: a strengths-oriented service model

J Relig Health. 2013 Jun;52(2):570-88. doi: 10.1007/s10943-011-9510-8.


Ideology and attitudes of Latino church leaders in the United States toward HIV/AIDS are explored. A qualitative approach utilized with emergent categories including: a desire within the Latino church for greater acceptance of HIV/AIDS sufferers, the supposed contaminating influence of HIV/AIDS individuals over other church members, and the feelings of helplessness many church members experience in relation to the HIV/AIDS crisis. Understanding ideological resistance that prevents engagement is here identified and a strategy of empowerment of church leaders is recommended to overcome it including: adopting a strengths-oriented service model that focuses on resources religious denominations already have, as opposed to a financially driven, medically oriented service model that highlights what churches often do not have; church leaders educating health care agencies on how to use religious beliefs to motivate church members to work on behalf of HIV/AIDS patients; the power of doctrinal ideology in affecting church and civil society's response to HIV/AIDS.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation
  • Attitude to Health
  • Clergy / methods*
  • Clergy / psychology
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Leadership
  • Motivation / physiology
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Religion and Medicine*
  • Stereotyping
  • United States