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The Role of Black Christian Churches In The Lives of Young Black Men Who Have Sex With Men (YBMSM). Michael Leonardo Foster, EdD Susan Kegeles, PhD Greg Rebchook, PhD University-wide AIDS Research Program National Institute of Health. Overview. Aim Background Methods

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The role of black christian churches in the lives of young black men who have sex with men ybmsm l.jpg

The Role of Black Christian Churches In The Lives of Young Black Men Who Have Sex With Men (YBMSM)

Michael Leonardo Foster, EdD

Susan Kegeles, PhD

Greg Rebchook, PhD

University-wide AIDS Research Program

National Institute of Health


Overview l.jpg
Overview Black Men Who Have Sex With Men (YBMSM)

  • Aim

  • Background

  • Methods

  • Role of church during childhood

  • Role of church during adulthood

  • Implications

  • Conclusions


Aim to explore the association between religiosity spirituality and hiv serostatus for ybmsm l.jpg
AIM: To explore the association between religiosity/spirituality and HIV serostatus for YBMSM


Background l.jpg

In 2003, Blacks—12.3% of US population; 54% of all HIV/AIDS diagnoses

Traditional Christian church is significant in Black communities

Background


Methods l.jpg

31 YBMSM, ages 19-30 years HIV/AIDS diagnoses

15 HIV+ and 16 HIV-

Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area, though interviewed in SF

Fliers at 5 CBOs in Oakland/San Francisco & Street Outreach

Methods


Methods continued l.jpg

Summer 2002 through Summer 2003 HIV/AIDS diagnoses

To explore the role of religion in the lives of YBMSM in association with HIV serostatus

Methods (continued)


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90-minute private interview using semi-structured protocol with probes

4 questions on religion or spirituality

Tape-recorded, transcribed, entered in Atlas*TI and coded thematically

Methods (continued)


Role of church during childhood l.jpg

Going to church was significant for every YBMSM in the sample

Attended traditional Christian churches

Varied slightly by frequency of attendance and context of worship (denomination)

Role of Church During Childhood


Role of church during childhood continued l.jpg
Role of Church During Childhood (continued) sample

  • Church attendance mostly related to famly influence & tradition

  • For 1 YBMSM attendance related to social norm

  • By adolescence, YBMSM went to church for its social component


Role of church during adulthood l.jpg

Varied by Frequency of Church Attendance sample

Varied by Context of Worship

Role of Church During Adulthood


Frequency of church attendance l.jpg

Non-attendance sample—Atheist. Non-church goer

Sporadic—spotty church attendance

Regular—regular, weekly attendance

Frequency of Church Attendance


Context of worship l.jpg

Atheist sample—non-practicing

Spiritual—personal prayer, gospel music

Non-Christian—world religions, such as Buddihist, Hinduism, etc.

Gay-friendly—open and affirming churches

Traditional Christian—Baptist, Christian, etc.

Context of Worship



Characteristics of hiv ybmsm s practice of religion spirituality l.jpg

HIV+ YBMSM Serostatus

Most either went to traditional Christian churches or prayed at home

1 HIV+ YBMSM became an Atheist

All sought spiritual guidance in dealing with life’s issues, sanctification, cleansing of sins

Characteristics of HIV+ YBMSM’s Practice of Religion/Spirituality


Characteristics of hiv ybmsm s practice of religion spirituality15 l.jpg

HIV- YBMSM Serostatus

Ran the gamut in terms of frequency and context of church attendance

No HIV- YBMSM was an Atheist

None worshipped at traditional Christian churches regularly

When HIV- YBMSM attended church, they preferred non-Christian or gay-friendly churches

Characteristics of HIV- YBMSM’s Practice of Religion/Spirituality


Implications l.jpg

Church, religiosity and spirituality important to YBMSM Serostatus

HIV+ YBMSM, in particular, gain a sense of assurance from church and prayer

HIV+ YBMSM seem especially sensitive to homophobia from church and often retreated to personal prayer

Implications


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Implications (continued) Serostatus

  • For all YBMSM, homophobia & judgment were primary reasons for discontinuing their Christian church attendance

  • HIV- YBMSM negotiated a more flexible relationship with church and practiced religion/spirituality in numerous ways


Conclusions l.jpg
Conclusions Serostatus

  • Lots of potential for church-based HIV/AIDS prevention intervention ministries

  • Such initiatives must be situated in non-homophobic, non-judmental contexts

  • Most potential at open and affirming churches and other non-traditional church settings


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