Acceptability of HIV Prevention Approaches Among USA Faith-Based Leaders

J Relig Health. 2023 Jun;62(3):1658-1675. doi: 10.1007/s10943-022-01705-3. Epub 2022 Dec 14.


HIV/AIDS disproportionately impacts underserved communities in the USA. This study evaluated the acceptability of partnering with faith communities to improve HIV prevention, screening, and engagement in care with a focus on Hispanic/Latinx (H/L) communities. We engaged faith-based leaders to identify how the cultural competence and foundations of trust within these communities may be leveraged to improve HIV-related healthcare access for underserved groups including H/L individuals. Using a semi-structured qualitative interview approach, we interviewed N = 20 faith-based leaders in Providence County, Rhode Island (RI). Data were analyzed using the framework approach which utilized inductive generation of themes and systematic grouping into predetermined categories. Seven of the 20 interviewees self-identified as H/L faith leaders and discussed needs specific to H/L communities including destigmatization of HIV, increased access to care, and partnerships founded on mutual respect. The other 13 faith leaders did not personally identify as H/L but all served communities with significant H/L populations. We included these individuals given their communities already performed HIV and/or other health outreach and could provide insight into what approaches could be adapted to the needs expressed by H/L leaders. All interviewees were accepting of developing partnerships with outside organizations to engage in HIV prevention, and all identified potential solutions to identified barriers. Results suggested that faith-based outreach should be further investigated as a method of improving HIV prevention in the general and H/L populations.

Keywords: Community-based programs; Faith and health; HIV prevention; Health disparities; Qualitative research; United States of America.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome*
  • HIV Infections* / prevention & control
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Religion