Knowledge about HIV

Jenny Trinitapoli and Alexander Weinreb

in Religion and AIDS in Africa

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780195335941
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199979080 | DOI:
Knowledge about HIV

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This chapter describes what people in sub-Saharan Africa know about HIV and AIDS. It argues that although knowledge about AIDS is widespread, there are important religious differences in levels of knowledge about the disease both across and within countries. Overall, Christians exhibit higher levels of knowledge than Muslims, but differences between Christian denominations are inconsistent across countries. The chapter also documents efforts to integrate religious leaders into programs that disseminated information about AIDS more broadly, especially during the early years of the epidemic. Rather than relay public health messages verbatim, religious leaders infused their teachings about AIDS with spiritual interpretations and moral directives. Still, the chapter argues, religious leaders played an important role in stimulating large-scale behavior change.

Keywords: knowledge; dissemination; religious leaders; Christianity; Islam

Chapter.  4230 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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