Professors present findings at Aids Foundation Houston conference
The TSU SHAPE Initiative, housed in the Department of Social Work, presented their needs assessment findings at the November 6 AIDS Foundation Houston (AFH) conference titled “The Human Side of HIV”. Drs. Grace Loudd, TSU Visiting Professor and Project Investigator, Needha Boutte-Queen, TSU Social Work Chair and Co-Project Investigator, and Nicole Willis, TSU Assistant Professor and Project Evaluator, presented “A Blessing and a Curse: Religiosity and HIV Risk Among African-American Millennials”.
Findings indicated young adults, both on the TSU campus and in the greater Third Ward community, are more likely to report using condoms inconsistently while engaging in sexual activity. Of particular interest, were young adults reporting some religious engagement as less likely to use a condom when compared to their non-religious counterparts. Additionally, data suggests religious young adults are less informed about accurate HIV transmission; apprehensive about obtaining health related services beyond religious means (e.g., prayer); and more likely to endorse homophobic attitudes. Study investigators proposed capitalizing on the positive aspects of religiosity through establishing partnerships with community-based, religious organizations to better disseminate information about HIV and safer sexual practices.
The TSU SHAPE Initiativesponsors awareness activities and free HIV, Hepatitis C, and drug screenings for TSU students and young adults in the Greater Third Ward. The program is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) and in partnership with community based organizations SHAPE Community Center, Houston Area Community Services (HACS), and the St. Hope Foundation.
For more information about the TSU SHAPE Initiative, contact Mr. Daniel Harris Sr., Project Coordinator, at (713) 313-1975.
Pictured from l to r: Drs. Nicole Willis, Grace Loudd, and Needha Boutte-Queen