This project established a faith-based, university–community partnership with the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church in Alabama to develop a statewide training model to address human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) knowledge and stigma, promote discussion and generate action plans to address HIV in the Deep South.
A community-engaged research team consisting of church leadership and university researchers that included Dr. Robin Lanzi, Professor, Ms. Alison Footman, doctoral student, Ms. Brook Araya, undergraduate student, and Dr. Kathryn Kaiser, assistant professor, all from the Department of Health Behavior at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health collaborated to develop and implement the model, “Love with No Exceptions.”
Mixed methods were used to evaluate the model delivered in 3-hour sessions in five state regions (N = 146 clergy and laity). The majority of participants reported feeling better prepared to serve those living with or affected by HIV and would implement education and awareness activities in their churches. Participants’ HIV knowledge increased from pre- to post-training. Stigma-related attitudes showed minor changes from baseline. These results reflect that partnerships between academic institutions and churches can deliver promising steps towards impactful HIV education in the Deep South.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on August 02