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Black Church MSM HIV Study

Black Church MSM HIV Study

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Thisarticlewasdownloadedby:[ColumbiaUniversity]On:01November2011,At:12:36Publisher:RoutledgeInformaLtdRegisteredinEnglandandWalesRegisteredNumber:1072954Registeredoffice:MortimerHouse,37-41MortimerStreet,LondonW1T3JH,UK
GlobalPublicHealth
Publicationdetails,includinginstructionsforauthorsandsubscriptioninformation:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rgph20
IdeologiesofBlackchurchesinNewYorkCityandthepublichealthcrisisofHIVamongBlackmenwhohavesexwithmen
PatrickA.Wilson
a,
NatalieM.Wittlin
a,
MiguelMunoz-Laboy
a
&RichardParker
a
a
DepartmentofSociomedicalSciences,ColumbiaUniversity,NewYork,NY,USAAvailableonline:06Sep2011Tocitethisarticle:PatrickA.Wilson,NatalieM.Wittlin,MiguelMunoz-Laboy&RichardParker(2011):IdeologiesofBlackchurchesinNewYorkCityandthepublichealthcrisisofHIVamongBlackmenwhohavesexwithmen,GlobalPublicHealth,6:sup2,S227-S242To
link
PLEASESCROLLDOWNFORARTICLEFulltermsandconditionsofuse:http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditionsThisarticlemaybeusedforresearch,teaching,andprivatestudypurposes.Anysubstantialorsystematicreproduction,redistribution,reselling,loan,sub-licensing,systematicsupply,ordistributioninanyformtoanyoneisexpresslyforbidden.Thepublisherdoesnotgiveanywarrantyexpressorimpliedormakeanyrepresentationthatthecontentswillbecompleteoraccurateoruptodate.Theaccuracyofanyinstructions,formulae,anddrugdosesshouldbeindependentlyverifiedwithprimarysources.Thepublishershallnotbeliableforanyloss,actions,claims,proceedings,demand,orcostsordamageswhatsoeverorhowsoevercausedarisingdirectlyorindirectlyinconnectionwithorarisingoutoftheuseofthismaterial.
 
GlobalPublicHealth
Vol.6,No.S2,October2011,S227-S242
IdeologiesofBlackchurchesinNewYorkCityandthepublichealthcrisisof
mv
amongBlackmenwhohavesexwithmen
Patrick
A.
Wilson*,NatalieM.Wittlin,MiguelMunoz-LaboyandRichardParker
DepartmentofSociomedicalSciences,ColumbiaUniversity,NewYork,NY,USA(Received
1
November2010;finalversionreceived10June2011)
............
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....
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~
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Blackmenwhohavesexwithmen(MSM)aredisproportionatelyaffectedbyHIVandAIDSinNewYorkCity(NYC).BlackchurchesinNYChaveahistoryofengagingincommunitymobilisation;however,researchsuggeststhatchurchesplayaroleinpromotingstigmaagainstBlackMSM,whichimpedespreventionefforts.Thegoalofthisstudywastoexplorechurchideologiessurroundingsexualityandhealth,andtherelationshipoftheseideologiestochurchmobilisationinresponsetoHIV/AIDSamongBlackMSM.WeconductedinterviewsandfocusgroupswithpastorsandparishionersatBlackchurchesinNYC.Threeprominentthemeswereidentified:(I)'Lovethesinner,hatethesin'-distinguishingbehaviourandidentity;(2)'Don'task,don'ttell'-keepingsame-sexbehaviourprivate;and(3)'Yourbodyisatemple'-connectingphysicalandspiritualhealth.WediscusstheimplicationsoftheseideologiesforchurchmobilisationandHIVpreventionefforts.Indoingso,wepaycloseattentiontohowideologiesmaybothimpedeandfacilitatechurchdialoguearoundsexualityandheightenedresponsestotheHIVcrisisaffectingBlackMSM.Keywords:Blacks;menwhohavesexwithmen;HIV/AIDS;churches;religiousideology
Introduction
BlackchurchesintheUSAplayanimportantroleinthecultureandsociallivesofmanyBlackAmericans(LincolnandMamiya1990,Taylor
etal.
1999).WhileBlackcommunitiesandindividualsvaryintheextenttowhichtheyaredirectlyinvolvedwithchurches,BlackchurchesremainastrongforceinthelivesofBlackAmericans.ArecentPewForum(2008)surveyoftheUSreligiouslandscapefoundthatofallracial/ethnicgroupsintheUSA,BlackAmericanswerethemostlikelytoreportbeingaffiliatedwithareligiousinstitution;85%ofBlackAmericansreportedaChristianaffiliation.EvenamongBlackAmericanswhoreportedbeingreligiouslyunaffiliated,threeinfoursaidthatreligionwaseithersomewhatorveryimportantintheirlives(comparedtojustaboveoneinthreeoftheoverallunaffiliatedpopulation).
"Correspondingauthor.Email:pw2219@columbia.edu
ISSN1744-1692printlISSN1744-1706online
©
2011Taylor
&
Francis
DOl:
10.1080/17441692.2011.605068
 
S228
PA.Wilson
etal.
Blackchurchesandcommunitymobilisation
ManyBlackchurcheshavehistoricallybeeninvolvedinsocialandpoliticalmovements,themostcommonlycitedexamplebeingtheCivilRightsMovementofthe1950sand1960s.Thenandnow,churcheshavehelpedtomobiliseBlackcommunitiesaroundpressingsocialandhealthissues,therebyfacilitatingpositivechange(LincolnandMamiya1990).ScholarshavetheorisedaboutanddebatedthemechanismsbywhichBlackchurchesenable-orfailtoenable-mobilisationaroundsocialandhealthissues(Pattillo-McCoy1998,Harris1999,Barnes2005,McClerkingandMcDaniel2005).Whileresearchhastendedtofocuson'churchculture'(i.e.,commonritualsandpractices)ratherthanreligiousideology,ithasalsoconsideredthecommonlyheldbeliefthatGodisactiveinworldlyaffairs(Pattillo-McCoy1998).ThisworksuggeststhatauniquerelationshipbetweencultureandtheologyexistsinmanyBlackchurches.Harris(1999)articulatesthisrelationship,notingthatBlackchurch-basedsocialmovementshavebenefitedfroma'sacredassurance',orthefeelingthatactionsarevalidatedbyscriptureandthatGodisonthesideofthechurch.Thissenseofsacredassurance,Harrisnotes,haspromotedfeelingsofpersonalandcollectiveefficacyamongBlackChristiansinvolvedinchurchmobilisationefforts.Otherresearchershavepointedtoanumberofspecificfactorsandactivitiesthataffectchurchmobilisationincluding:dialogueandinformation-sharingamongparishioners(McKenzie2004);prayergroupsandgospelmusic(Barnes2005);cost-underwritingandobligation-creatingactivities(McClerk-ingandMcDaniel2005);anda'toolkit'thatincludesprayer,call-and-response,verbalencouragement,Christianimageryandasenseof'collectiveethos'(Pattillo-McCoy1998).RecentBlackchurchcommunitymobilisationeffortshavefocusedonavarietyofpublichealthissuesincludingcareforolderadults(MadisonandMcGadney2000),prisonreintegration(O'Connor
etal.
1998)andbreastandcervicalcancer(Shapiro
etal.
2006),amongothers.BlackchurchesinNewYorkCity
(NYC)-
thesettingofourresearchstudy-haveplayedaparticularlyprominentroleincommunitymobilisationeffortsfocusedonsocialissues,historicallyandcontemporarily(Bunche1973).Inthe1920sand1930s,thesocialgospelmovementflourishedinBlackcommunities,andsocialjustice-orientedreligiousleaderssuchasAdamClaytonPowell,Sr.,ReverdyRansom,andSheltonHaleBishopusedchurchesasspacesforsocialserviceandaction(Spencer1996).BlackchurchesinNYChavealsomadeeffortstomobilisethecommunitytopreventHIV/AIDSsincethebeginningoftheepidemic.AsreportedbyQuimbyandFriedman(2003),BlackchurchesinNYCbegantomobiliseagainstHIV/AIDSinlate1987,organisingcommunityforumsandeducationalconferencesheldatvariouschurches,includingthehistoricConcordBaptistChurchinBrooklyn.Contemporarily,BlackchurchesinNYCarestillinvolvedincommunityresponsestoHIV/AIDS.Forexample,thecurrentpastorofAbyssinianBaptist,Dr.CalvinO.Butts,III,sitsonthePresidentialAdvisoryCommissiononHIV/AIDS(PACHA)andleadstheNationalBlackLeadershipCommissiononAIDS(UnitedStatesDepartmentofHealthandHumanServices[DHHS]2010).BlackchurchesinNYChavedemonstratedleadershipinpromotingawarenessandmobilisationaroundissuesaffectingthecommunitiestheyserve.

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