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Organized Religion and HIV/AIDS in Mozambique

The goal of the project is to explore connections between religious involvement and HIV/AIDS-related knowledge, perceptions, attitudes, and behavior. The project was conducted in two sites in southern Mozambique: the District of Chibuto, Gaza Province, and the city of Maputo, Mozambique’s capital. The first phase of the fieldwork was carried out in June-August 2003 and included a survey of religious congregation members in the two sites, semi-structured, in-depth interviews with a sub-sample of the survey respondents, and interviewers with the congregation leaders. The study was congregation-based: only individuals attending religious activities of their respective congregations were included. The study was limited to the denominations that were most prominent in the two sites: the Roman Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Assemblies of God, Zionist churches, and Apostolic churches. In Maputo the study also involved the Islamic community, but in Chibuto, where the Islamic community is still very small, Muslims were not included. For the survey, congregations within each denomination were selected randomly in each of the two sites. In total 36 congregations were included. In those congregations a survey and qualitative interviews were conducted. The survey respondents were selected randomly from individuals attending the religious services on a given day and were interviewed at the congregation or another location of their choice. The sample was stratified by gender, so that a balanced number of men and women could be achieved (the age bracket for men was 15-60 and for women 15-50). In total, 731 people participated in the congregation member survey. The survey instrument included a variety of items dealing with HIV/AIDS, respondents’ sociodemographic characteristics and religious history and involvement. About eight percent of the survey respondents also participated in semi-structured interviews following the survey. The subjects for those interviews were selected purposefully to represent a broad range of demographic characteristics (gender, age, and marital status) and religious involvement. The semi-structured interviews were designed to complement and expand upon the survey, especially in the areas of personal perceptions of HIV/AIDS risks and knowledge about the role of respective religious congregations in HIV/AIDS prevention and care. Finally, the congregation leaders’ survey focused on congregations’ involvement in HIV/AIDS prevention and assistance activities.

The first phase of the data collection and processing was carried out in collaboration with Eduardo Mondlane University African Studies Center, EMU-ASC (Mozambique).

The second phase of the data collection took place in July-August 2004 and consisted in additional in-depth interviews with members of the same congregations that were included in the first phase. The project was directed by Victor Agadjanian (PI). Dr. Teresa Cruz e Silva of EMU-ASC was co-PI in the first phase of data collection and processing. Dr. Cecilia Menjívar (ASU) was co-PI in the second phase of the project. The project was funded by the US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) R03 HD43675 and a supplement to that grant. The data collected through the project are being analyzed. Information about articles resulting from the project will be posted on this site as they are published.


If you are interested in more information about this project or would like to gain access to the data, please contact the project PI, Dr. Victor Agadjanian.

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