Proportion of US congregations that have people living with HIV.
Surveillance studies monitor the prevalence and incidence of HIV, and this information is used by policy makers to design prevention programs and facilitate care for people living with HIV (PLWHIV). Although most of these studies monitor the presence of PLWHIV in the general population or specific communities, some assess the presence of PLWHIV in organizations. One type of organization that has not been examined, yet could potentially play a large role in caring for PLWHIV, is the religious congregation. In this study, we estimate the proportion of US religious congregations that have PLWHIV and examine whether congregations that are in contact with populations with high HIV prevalence and incidence rates are more likely to have PLWHIV using data from a nationally representative sample of congregations and the 2000 Census. Over 10,000 congregations have PLWHIV, and congregations containing, open to, or located in areas with populations with high HIV prevalence and incidence rates are more likely to have them. This study offers new insight into the presence of HIV in the United States and provides information about which congregations may be amenable to serving as sites of HIV programs.
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