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HIV stigma reduction and health literacy education program with a cross-generational populaton in an African American faith-based church

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The aim of this study was to implement a HIV stigma reduction/health literacy educational program to investigate HIV stigma reduction and HIV knowledge and health literacy expansion within a cross-generational African American faith center on the west side of Chicago.

Subject and methods

The study included a community-based mixed method design, enveloped with elements of “stigma reduction, intergroup contact and religious social capital” theories, analyzed a sample size of fourteen (N = 14) faith center participants’ pre- and post-assessment scores and their direct quotes gathered from focused observations.


The study presented significant difference found in HIV knowledge (p = .007), and (HIV) health literacy (p = .041). Additionally, significant difference was found in four out of fifteen HIV stereotypes subscales scores on the Stereotype About AIDS Questionnaire.


The study suggests that HIV stigma has potentiality to reduce within the African American faith center population contrary to previous studies where HIV stigma reduction was not evident. The intervention model provided a protocol for partnership development between this faith center and the local community hospital infectious disease program to address HIV stigma, HIV knowledge and health literacy (HIV health literacy).

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Thank you to my daughter, Cieyara Porch, who is the reason that I push diligently to be the best person that I can be in life. It is my hope that she will be inspired and be proud of my accomplishment to complete this level of education and to make life impact through public health work. Further, I like to dedicate this paper to the seniors, pregnancy and HIV counselees that I met while working at a federal qualified health center on the west side of Chicago that inspired my heart to want to pursue a doctorate degree that would allow me to make community-based impact for community wellness for individuals such as them.

I extend my thanks to every person who encouraged me along the journey, like my co-workers Lynn Williams and Denise Meginniss, and my friends, Annettia Davis-Cook and Cherese Morgan.

Further, I would like acknowledge my mentor, Dr. Oreta Samples and all of her support and encouragement throughout the capstone process. Equally, I would like to acknowledge each professor in my doctoral program at Capella University, and Dr. Edward Paluch, my Capstone committee member. Thanks to my Preceptor, Bijou Hunt who provided advisement and assistance with my research. Special thanks to my former co-worker, Nikiya Pruitt who contributed to my connection to Sinai Health Systems Infectious Disease program.

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Correspondence to Lisa Cook.

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Cook, L. HIV stigma reduction and health literacy education program with a cross-generational populaton in an African American faith-based church. J Public Health (Berl.) (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10389-020-01203-4

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  • HIV stigma reduction
  • HIV knowledge
  • Health literacy
  • Community-based