The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) has received a two-year, $42,000 research fellowship grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Mental Health to investigate the role of churches in HIV prevention for young black men.
Katherine Quinn, M.A., a Ph.D. candidate in MCW’s Public and Community Health Program, is the primary investigator of the grant.
Young black men who have sex with men (YBMSM) are disproportionately affected by HIV. Engagement of faith-based organizations has been promoted as a necessary aspect of HIV prevention, but research suggests the church may be a source of stigma and homophobia for YBMSM.
In this project, the researchers will use qualitative research to explore the messages and attitudes around sexual identity and behaviors associated with HIV transmission in the church. Thirty YBMSM and 20 pastors or religious leaders of black churches will be interviewed in the project. That research will be used to assess the feasibility and potential of the church to participate in HIV prevention interventions.