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Religion and HIV Risk Behaviors Among Married Men: Initial Results from a Study in Rural Sub-Saharan Africa

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Abstract:

Although some scholars have identified religion as a possible protective factor in the AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa, evidence concerning the relationship between religion and AIDS behavior there remains sparse. Using a sample of married men from rural Malawi, we examine whether AIDS risk behavior and perceived risk are associated with religious affiliation or with religious involvement. Our analyses of data from the Malawi Diffusion and Ideational Change Project (2001) reveal substantial variation according to religious affiliation and religious involvement. Men belonging to Pentecostal churches consistently report lower levels of both HIV risk behavior and perceived risk. Regular attendance at religious services is associated both with reduced odds of reporting extramarital partners and with lower levels of perceived risk of infection.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5906.2006.00325.x

Affiliations: 1: Jenny Trinitapoli is a graduate student in the Department of Sociology and an NICHD predoctoral trainee at the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station G1800, Austin, TX 78712-0118., Email: jtrini@prc.utexas.edu 2: Mark D. Regnerus is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Faculty Research Associate, Population Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1700, Austin, TX 78712-0118., Email: regnerus@prc.utexas.edu

Publication date: December 1, 2006

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