Impact of African American Baptist Clergy's HIV/AIDS Knowledge and Beliefs on HIV/AIDS Education
Ongoing avoidance of addressing HIV/AIDS education occurs by some African American churches and clergy despite the higher rate of HIV/AIDS infection in the African American community. Clergy and the church could be a vital tool in HIV/AIDS education in this community; therefore, it is important to research the source of this avoidance. In this quantitative study, Ajzen's theory of planned behavior was used to hypothesize a correlation between the clergy's knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about HIV/AIDS and their willingness to permit HIV/AIDS education activities in their churches. To assess knowledge and beliefs and behavioral intentions, Wise's Black Church Ecumenical Clergy Conference on HIV/AIDS Survey was used with a convenience sample of 67 African American Baptist clergy whose churches were members of the Central Hudson Baptist Association in New York. Pearson correlations were used to analyze the relationship between HIV/AIDS knowledge and HIV/AIDS beliefs (the independent variables) and HIV/AIDS behavioral intentions (the dependent variable). A positive correlation was found between HIV/AIDS beliefs and behavioral intentions. No significant correlation was found between HIV/AIDS knowledge and behavioral intentions. Multiple regression and ANOVA were used to analyze the data for correlation between behavioral intentions and personal and or professional demographics. Multiple regression and ANOVA analysis were not significant. Providing information from the survey results to African American clergy and HIV educators may promote positive social change as this information may be used to address why African American Baptist clergy do not permit HIV/AIDS education activities in their churches through program development and future research.