All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Cathy Simpson

Advisory Committee Members

Stacey Cofield

Susan Davies

Connie Kohler

Stuart Usdan

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) School of Public Health


Religion and spirituality are important concepts for many Black MSM. While many social factors may be associated with the increasing disparity of HIV infection among Black MSM, high levels of religiosity and spirituality prevalent in Black culture may be correlated with high risk behavior among Black MSM and may help explain this population's increasing incidence of HIV infection. Research supports a relationship between religiosity, spirituality, and high risk behavior among populations. Some research has suggested that religiosity and spirituality among Black MSM may be correlated but are multifaceted constructs. Conclusions suggest that among Black MSM these constructs account for certain levels of cognitive dissonance among Black MSM addressing their sexual and religious identity and can lead to negative coping behaviors and negative health outcomes (e.g., higher sexual risk, higher substance abuse, and higher levels of depression) among Black MSM. Findings also suggest positive spiritual and religious experiences may reduce the level of dissonance experienced by some Black MSM and may lead to positive health outcomes. Despite the unique role of religiosity and spirituality among Black MSM, research has not examined the relationships of these constructs and high sexual risk behavior among Black MSM. Future effective HIV prevention interventions intended for Black MSM may well include dissonance reduction, as well as, spirituality and religiosity components to achieve risk reduction interventions that may well decrease the continued HIV incidence among Black MSM.

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