An Engaged Community of Faith to Decrease HIV Stigma in the U.S. South


Community members from a city in the U.S. Deep South identified root causes of HIV racial disparities, including stigma. This meeting report describes how we developed and implemented a conference series to address HIV stigma. We used community feedback and bidirectional learning to host two meetings in observance of National HIV Testing Day (June 2021) and National Southern HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (August 2021). We established a 10-member organizing committee workgroup that met monthly to plan the Faith Summit in honor of National Black HIV Awareness Day (February 2022). Lessons learned include (a) the effectiveness of different community engagement strategies, including participatory evaluative approaches, and (b) strategies to maintain engagement and increase participation, such as reliance on personal and professional networks and prompting the community about forthcoming interventions. Sustaining a conference series to end HIV stigma requires commitment and inclusive participation. This collaborative project offers additional evidence that faith communities can be a part of the solution to ending the HIV epidemic and related health disparities.

Publication Title

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health