Religious communities and HIV prevention: An intervention study using a human rights-based approach

Paiva, V. , Garcia, J. , Rios, L. F. , Santos, A. O. , Terto, V. andMunõz-Laboy, M.(2010) ‘Religious
communities and HIV prevention: An intervention study using a human rights-based approach’, Global Public Health,,
First published on: 07 April 2010 (iFirst)



Religious communities have been a challenge to HIV prevention globally. Focusing on the acceptability component of the right to health, this intervention study examined how local Catholic, Evangelical and Afro-Brazilian religious communities can collaborate to foster young people’s sexual health and ensure their access to comprehensive HIV prevention in their communities in Brazil. This article describes the process of a three-stage sexual health promotion and HIV prevention initiative that used a multicultural human rights approach to intervention. Methods included 27 in-depth interviews with religious authorities on sexuality, AIDS prevention and human rights training of 18 young people as research-agents, who surveyed 177 youth on the same issues using self-administered questionnaires. The results, analysed using a rights-based perspective on health and the vulnerability framework, were discussed in daylong interfaith workshops. Emblematic of the collaborative process, workshops are the focus of the analysis. Our findings suggest that this human rights framework is effective in increasing inter-religious tolerance and in providing a collective understanding of the sexuality and prevention needs of youth from different religious communities, and also serves as a platform for the expansion of state AIDS programmes based on laical principles.

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