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Involvement of religious leaders in HIV prevention, South Africa
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health. (Internationell kvinno- & mödrahälsovård/Essén)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health. (Internationell kvinno- & mödrahälsovård/Essén)
School of Religion and Theology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa .
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health. (Internationell kvinno- & mödrahälsovård/Essén)
2011 (English)In: Svensk Missionstidsskrift, ISSN 0346-217X, Vol. 99, no 2, 119-135 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Religious leaders do not easily get involved in HIV prevention for young people since discussing sexuality publicly is taboo. A self-administrated questionnaire survey was conducted among local religious leaders (n=215) August-October 2008, when they convened at regional meetings in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The questionnaire included socio-demographic data, previous HIV education and attitudes to HIV prevention for young people, policy issues, and questions on stigma. The participants (186 males, 29females) were affiliated to the Catholic Church (66), Lutheran church (82),and the Assemblies of God (67). Religious leaders regarded themselves as responsible for educating young people about HIV, and were interested in topics concerning young people’s sexuality. However, only 39% reported that their church had run a life-skill programme for youth in the last six months. The results indicated that religious leaders who had participated in HIV training were more likely to have arranged a life-skill programme for young people and also more likely to have taken an HIV test.

Religious leaders were positive about further training on HIV- related issues, and if learning opportunities are offered to them, this might increase their involvement in HIV prevention among young people.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 99, no 2, 119-135 p.
Keyword [en]
Religious leaders, HIV prevention, young people, South Africa
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
International Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-156560OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-156560DiVA: diva2:432418
Available from: 2011-08-03 Created: 2011-08-03 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Christian Communities and Prevention of HIV among Youth in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Christian Communities and Prevention of HIV among Youth in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Young people in South Africa, particularly females, are at great risk of acquiring HIV, and heterosexual sex is the predominant mode of HIV transmission. In order to curb the epidemic the Department of Health encourages all sectors in the society, including religious institutions, to respond effectively.

The present thesis seeks to increase the understanding of the role of Christian communities in prevention of HIV for young people. Three denominations in KwaZulu-Natal were selected to reflect the diversity of Christian churches in South Africa: the Roman Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa, and the Assemblies of God.

Using qualitative interviews the first paper explores how religious leaders (n=16) deal with the conflict between the values of the church and young people’s sexuality. Study II reports on attitudes to HIV prevention for young people among religious leaders (n=215) using questionnaire survey data. Study III investigates how young people (n=62) reflect on messages received from their churches regarding premarital sex by analysing nine focus group discussions. In the fourth paper, based on questionnaire survey data, we report on young people’s (n=811) experiences of relationships with the opposite sex and their perceived risk of HIV infection.

The view that young people in churches are sexually active before marriage was common among religious leadership. The majority of religious leaders also reported that they are responsible for educating young people about HIV prevention. Religious leaders who had received training on HIV were more likely to run a life skills programme for young people, however they were ambivalent about prevention messages. Young people reported premarital sexual abstinence as the main HIV prevention message from their churches. The majority responded that they had received information about HIV in church. To be in a relationship was common, more so for males for whom multiple relationships also were viewed more acceptable. To perceive themselves at risk of HIV infection was common.

Further training for religious leaders is needed to enable them to manage the conflict between the doctrine of the church and their willingness to assist young people in the transition into adulthood.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2011. 69 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 684
Keyword
HIV prevention, Young people, Religion, Religious leaders, Sexuality, HIV risk, South Africa
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
International Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-155097 (URN)978-91-554-8113-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-09-23, Room IX, Universiteteshuset, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
Faculty of MedicineAvailable from: 2011-08-30 Created: 2011-06-16 Last updated: 2011-09-08Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson, ElisabetLindmark, GunillaAxemo, Pia

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