Religion and HIV in Tanzania: influence of religious beliefs on HIV stigma, disclosure, and treatment attitudes

Zou, James; Yamanaka, Yvonne; John, Muze; Watt, Melissa; Ostermann, Jan; Thielman, Nathan
January 2009
BMC Public Health;2009, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
Background: Religion shapes everyday beliefs and activities, but few studies have examined its associations with attitudes about HIV. This exploratory study in Tanzania probed associations between religious beliefs and HIV stigma, disclosure, and attitudes toward antiretroviral (ARV) treatment. Methods: A self-administered survey was distributed to a convenience sample of parishioners (n = 438) attending Catholic, Lutheran, and Pentecostal churches in both urban and rural areas. The survey included questions about religious beliefs, opinions about HIV, and knowledge and attitudes about ARVs. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to assess how religion was associated with perceptions about HIV, HIV treatment, and people living with HIV/AIDS. Results: Results indicate that shame-related HIV stigma is strongly associated with religious beliefs such as the belief that HIV is a punishment from God (p < 0.01) or that people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) have not followed the Word of God (p < 0.001). Most participants (84.2%) said that they would disclose their HIV status to their pastor or congregation if they became infected. Although the majority of respondents (80.8%) believed that prayer could cure HIV, almost all (93.7%) said that they would begin ARV treatment if they became HIV-infected. The multivariate analysis found that respondents' hypothetical willingness to begin ARV treatme was not significantly associated with the belief that prayer could cure HIV or with other religious factors. Refusal of ARV treatment was instead correlated with lack of secondary schooling and lack of knowledge about ARVs. Conclusion: The decision to start ARVs hinged primarily on education-level and knowledge about ARVs rather than on religious factors. Research results highlight the influence of religious beliefs on HIV-related stigma and willingness to disclose, and should help to inform HIV-education outreach for religious groups.


Related Articles

  • Antiretroviral for Acute HIV Infection -- Not Ready for Prime Time. Winslow, Dean L. // AIDS Alert;Feb2007, Vol. 22 Issue 2, p21 

    A multicenter, observational study retrospectively compared 59 individuals with acute or early HIV infection who elected to receive antiretroviral (ARV) therapy for 12 weeks to 337 patients who declined treatment. Initiation of ARV treatment within 2 weeks of presumed infection appeared to...

  • Early Versus Delayed Antiretroviral Therapy in patients with HIV Infection. Thorner, Anna R.; Rosenberg, Eric S. // Drugs;2003, Vol. 63 Issue 13, p1325 

    The development and implementation of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) for the treatment of the human immunodeficiency virus has revolutionised the care of patients with this disease. Despite the positive impact that antiretroviral therapy has had on the lives of individuals with HIV...

  • HIV drugs halve infections in men who have sex with men. Roehr, Bob // BMJ: British Medical Journal (Overseas & Retired Doctors Edition;11/27/2010, Vol. 341 Issue 7783, p1124 

    The article discusses a research study on the effectiveness of once a day treatment with two standard antiretrovirals in offering protection against infection with the HIV virus, in the November 23, 2010 issue of the "New England Journal of Medicine."

  • CD4 Response Up to 5 Years After Combination Antiretroviral Therapy in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Patients in Latin America and the Caribbean. Luz, Paula M.; Belaunzarán-Zamudio, Pablo F.; Crabtree-Ramírez, Brenda; Caro-Vega, Yanink; Hoces, Daniel; Rebeiro, Peter F.; Blevins, Meridith; Pape, Jean W.; Cortes, Claudia P.; Padgett, Denis; Cahn, Pedro; Veloso, Valdilea G.; McGowan, Catherine C.; Grinsztejn, Beatriz; Shepherd, Bryan E. // Open Forum Infectious Diseases;Spring2015, Vol. 2 Issue 2, p1 

    We describe CD4 counts at 6-month intervals for 5 years after combination antiretroviral therapy initiation among 12 879 antiretroviral-naive human immunodeficiency virus-infected adults from Latin America and the Caribbean. Median CD4 counts increased from 154 cells/mm³ at baseline...

  • Correction: Renal Function in Ghanaian HIV-Infected Patients on Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy: A Case-Control Study.  // PLoS ONE;Oct2014, Vol. 9 Issue 10, p1 

    No abstract available.

  • First medication in new class of ARTs poised to be available for salvage therapy.  // AIDS Alert;Aug2007, Vol. 22 Issue 8, p85 

    The article reports on the expected approval of Maraviroc, a CCR5 antagonist to be marketed by Pfizer under the trade name of Celsentri, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in July or August 2007.

  • Current Treatment of HIV Infection. Portsmouth, Simon; Stebbing, Justin; Gazzard, Brian // Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry;Sep2003, Vol. 3 Issue 13, p1458 

    The field of antiretroviral therapy has witnessed remarkable progress during the past 15 years. There are now over a dozen approved therapeutic agents for infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), a pathogen that once caused nearly uniformly fatal illness. These agents usually...

  • Lamivudine/Zidovudine/Abacavir. Ibbotson, Tim; Perry, Caroline M. // Drugs;2003, Vol. 63 Issue 11, p1089 

    • The triple combination tablet containing lamivudine (150mg), zidovudine (300mg) and abacavir (300mg, as abacavir sulfate) is a new formulation of three nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors. • Two studies in treatment-naive patients (one double-blind, one nonblind)...

  • Lamivudine/Zidovudine/Abacavir A Viwepoint by David Haas. Haas, David // Drugs;2003, Vol. 63 Issue 11, p1099 

    Comments on the triple combination tablet containing antiretrovirals lamivudine, zidovudine and abacavir for the treatment of HIV infection. Factors that influence decisions regarding when to initiate antiretroviral therapy; Antiviral potency; Adverse effects.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics