Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


College of Nursing

First Advisor

Laura Hein


The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) epidemic is a significant problem in the United States, especially in the “Bible Belt” Deep South where the epidemic is hitting this region the hardest. The HIV epidemic in the state of South Carolina is very real, significant, and quite alarming. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) labels South Carolina as an HIV “hot spot.” All racial and ethnic groups are susceptible and impacted by HIV. However, evidence shows that African Americans – especially young adults 18-35, bear the brunt of the burden to the extent that the “new face” of the HIV epidemic is Black. Consistent with national trends, African Americans residing in the state of South Carolina are disproportionately impacted by the HIV epidemic versus all other racial/ethnic groups. The HIV healthcare crisis African Americans are facing in South Carolina is very problematic and evidence suggests that the Black Church can play a significant role to counteract the HIV epidemic within the African American community. In order to provide HIV prevention to young adult African Americans in the Black Church setting, evidence suggests it is imperative to target church leadership and gain their consent to do so. This evidence-based practice quality improvement project entails introducing Black Church leadership to the community-based CDC-approved HIV intervention titled Video Opportunity for Innovative Condom Education and Safer Sex (V.O.I.C.E.S.). A sample of 32 leadership participants from four South Carolinian Black Churches was introduced to the four core elements of the V.O.I.C.E.S. intervention. A leadership survey was administered to participants to obtain their input whether the V.O.I.C.E.S. intervention is appropriate to implement in the Black Church setting in its original form or whether it needs to be modified. An HIV-stigma survey was administered to participants to assess their level of HIV knowledge and HIV stigma and determine if there is a relationship in leadership’s opinion in the adoption of the intervention in the church setting. A mixed method research design was employed. Results show that South Carolinian Black Church leadership who are more knowledgeable about HIV were more likely to agree that the V.O.I.C.E.S. intervention is appropriate to implement in its original form in this setting. Also, leadership from different Black Church denominations appear to differ how HIV prevention should be presented to their young adult parishioners. Implications from this evidence-based practice quality improvement project suggests that nursing can collaborate/negotiate with Black Church leadership to tailor the V.O.I.C.E.S. intervention to suit the needs of their parishioners while adhering to church doctrine.


© 2015, Jason Richard

Included in

Nursing Commons