Predictors of the Existence of Congregational HIV Programs

Similarities and Differences Compared with Other Health Programs

Published in: American Journal of Health Promotion, 2014

by Malcolm V. Williams, Ann C. Haas, Beth Ann Griffin, Brad Fulton, David E. Kanouse, Laura M. Bogart, Kathryn Pitkin Derose

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PURPOSE: Identify and compare predictors of the existence of congregational human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other health programs. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: United States. SUBJECTS: A nationally representative sample of 1506 U.S. congregations surveyed in the National Congregations Study (2006–2007). MEASURES: Key informants at each congregation completed in-person and telephone interviews on congregational HIV and other health programs and various congregation characteristics (response rate = 78%). County-level HIV prevalence and population health data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's 2007 County Health Rankings were linked to the congregational data. ANALYSIS: Multinomial logistic regression was used to assess factors that predict congregational health programs relative to no health programs; and of HIV programs relative to other health activities. RESULTS: Most congregations (57.5%) had at least one health-related program; many fewer (5.7%) had an HIV program. Predictors of health vs. HIV programs differed. The number of adults in the congregation was a key predictor of health programs, while having an official statement welcoming gay persons was a significant predictor of HIV programs (p < .05). Other significant characteristics varied by size of congregation and type of program (HIV vs. other health). CONCLUSION: Organizations interested in partnering with congregations to promote health or prevent HIV should consider congregational size as well as other factors that predict involvement. Results of this study can inform policy interventions to increase the capacity of religious congregations to address HIV and health.

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