Can Churches Play a Role in Combating the HIV-AIDS Epidemic A Study of the Attitudes of Christian Religious Leaders in MadagascarReportar como inadecuado

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Churches occupy an important social and cultural position in Madagascar. The sexual transmission of HIV raises controversies about the role that Churches can play in preventing HIV-AIDS. This cross-sectional survey investigated recommendations by religious leaders for condom use and other preventive strategies in the context of international guidelines.


A questionnaire was self-administered to a random sample of religious leaders. The questions related to preventive methods against HIV-AIDS such as: condom use, marital fidelity, sexual abstinence before marriage, and HIV-testing. Associations with recommendations for condom use were evaluated using univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses.


Of 231 religious leaders, 215 93.1% were willing to share their knowledge of HIV-AIDS with their congregations. The majority received their information from the media N = 136, 58.9%, a minority from their church N = 9, 3.9%, and 38 16.4% had received prior training on HIV. Nearly all N = 212, 91.8% knew that HIV could be sexually transmitted though only a few N = 39, 16.9% were aware of mother-to-child transmission or unsafe injections N = 56, 24.2%. A total of 91 39.4% were willing to, or had recommended N = 64, 27.7%, condom use, while 50 21.6% had undergone HIV testing. Only nine 3.9% had ever cared for a person living with HIV-AIDS PLHIV. Multivariable logistic regression shows that condom use recommendations by religious leaders were negatively associated with tertiary level education OR: 0.3, 95% CI 0.1–0.7, and positively associated with knowing a person at risk OR: 16.2, 95% CI 3.2–80.2, knowing of an ART center OR: 2.6, 95% CI 1.4–4.8, and receiving information about HIV at school OR: 2.6, 95% CI 1.2–5.6.


Malagasy church leaders could potentially become key players in HIV-AIDS prevention if they improved their knowledge of the illness, their commitment to international recommendations, and extended their interaction with people most at risk.

Autor: Jerry S. Rakotoniana, Jean de Dieu M. Rakotomanga, Hubert Barennes



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