Reducing the African American HIV Disease Burden in the Deep South: Addressing the Role of Faith and Spirituality

Amy Nunn, William L. Jeffries, Pamela Foster, Katryna McCoy, Cassandra Sutten-Coats, Tiara C. Willie, Yusuf Ransome, Robin Gaines Lanzi, Edward Jackson, Jannette Berkley-Patton, Michael Keefer, Jason D. Coleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Nearly half of HIV infections in the United States are concentrated among African Americans, and over half of new HIV infections occur in the South. African Americans have poorer outcomes in the entire continua of HIV and PrEP care. Complex social, structural, and behavioral factors contribute to our nation’s alarming racial disparities in HIV infection, particularly in the Deep South. Despite the importance of faith, spirituality and religious practice in the lives of many African Americans, there has been little scientific investment exploring how African Americans’ religious participation, faith and spirituality may impact our nation’s HIV epidemic. This article summarizes the state of the science on this critical issue. We also identify opportunities for new scholarship on how faith, spirituality and religious participation may impact HIV care continuum outcomes in the South and call for greater federal research investment on these issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-330
Number of pages12
JournalAIDS and behavior
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • African Americans
  • Faith-based Organizations
  • HIV prevention
  • Southern United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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