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Young people, sexuality, and HIV prevention within Christian faith communities in South Africa: a cross-sectional survey
Uppsala universitet, Internationell mödra- och barnhälsovård (IMCH).
Uppsala universitet, Internationell mödra- och barnhälsovård (IMCH).
School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
Uppsala universitet, Internationell mödra- och barnhälsovård (IMCH).
2014 (English)In: Journal of religion and health, ISSN 0022-4197, E-ISSN 1573-6571, Vol. 53, no 6, 1662-1675 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Faith communities exert a powerful influence on the life of their members, and studies are needed about how they may be able to influence young people's attitudes regarding sexuality and HIV prevention. Data were collected through a self-administered questionnaire from young people (811), aged 15-24 years, affiliated to the Roman Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Assemblies of God. The majority of participants perceived themselves at risk of HIV infection (53 %). Premarital sexual abstinence was the most frequently (88 %) reported prevention message, followed by faithfulness (23 %), HIV testing (18 %) and condom use (17 %). Furthermore, religious affiliation was associated with education on sexuality and HIV in youth groups, with better information given to members of the Lutheran and Catholic churches. Faith communities need to strengthen their capacity to educate young people in a more holistic way about sexuality and HIV prevention.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 53, no 6, 1662-1675 p.
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-23536DOI: 10.1007/s10943-013-9753-7ISI: 000344539200007PubMedID: 23832228OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-23536DiVA: diva2:1071910
Available from: 2014-12-18 Created: 2017-02-06 Last updated: 2017-02-07Bibliographically 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
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
International Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-23532 (URN)978-91-554-8113-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-09-23, Room IX, Universiteteshuset, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-02-06 Created: 2017-02-06 Last updated: 2017-02-07Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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