As a part of Project FAITHH, 12 predominately African-American rural churches have been randomly assigned into 1 of 3 research arms. The first arm will receive the faith-based anti-stigma intervention. The second arm will receive standardized HIV training. The third arm (control) will receive pamphlets but no intervention. From each participating church 20 congregation members will be recruited to participate in the interventions, 80 from each arm, culminating in a total of 240.
In addition to the interventions, we have interviewed 41 people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and 11 out of 12 recruited pastors to assess HIV knowledge, spirituality, and internalized stigma. The pastors also completed a semi-structured qualitative interview designed to assess attitudes and knowledge about stigma, and the presences of HIV/AIDS-related primary prevention activities in their churches.
We developed and pilot tested a faith-based, anti-stigma intervention with 12 African-American churches in rural Alabama. We measured HIV-related stigma held by individuals (individual-level) and their perception of stigma among other congregants (congregational-level). Analyses of pre- and post-assessments showed the anti-stigma intervention group reported a significant reduction in individual-level stigma compared with controls (adjusted p <.05). Findings suggest African-American churches may be poised to aid HIV stigma reduction efforts.