Linking Individual Faith Together with My Highly Active
Antiretroviral Therapy (LIFT My HAART): A Two-Phased Grant Proposal
Master's Thesis (136 pages)
Committee Chair / Thesis Adviser: Blevins, John
Committee Members: Landskroener, Susan D
Research Fields: Public health; Religion
Partnering Agencies: Does not apply (no collaborating organization)
Keywords: Maternal and Child Health; HIV/AIDS; Religion; Zambia
Program: Rollins School of Public Health, Executive Masters of Public Health (Prevention Science)
Linking Individual Faith Together with My Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (LIFT My HAART)
A Two-Phased Grant Proposal
By Lea Wilkinson
The number of children newly infected by HIV in low- and middle-income countries has fallen by 40%. This constitutes considerable progress towards the global scale-up of Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) initiatives. For the first time in history, the Elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission (EMTCT) is an attainable public health goal. For the past decade, Zambia has successfully implemented an efficient nationwide response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic within its borders. During this time, Zambia has worked hard as a nation to achieve key milestones in the coordination and management of their national response. However, a concerning trend is starting to take hold within the country that threatens Zambia's success in PMTCT. Mounting pressure is present in some Christian communities for both men and women to stop Antiretroviral therapy (ART) for the hope that God will heal them through prayer. Women are statistically more drawn to churches that teach this belief, which contributes to their decision to stop ART. For an HIV-positive pregnant woman, the decision to substitute prayer for Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) could impact the life of her unborn child through mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV. To leverage the role that Christian religion plays in an HIV-positive pregnant woman's decision-making, as a way to ensure improved HAART adherence and reduced MTCT, this grant proposal outlines a two-phased process targeting HIV-positive pregnant women and Christian leaders in Lusaka, Zambia.
The first phase is a mixed-method investigation of both HIV-positive pregnant women and the local Christian leaders in Lusaka, Zambia. The research will help identify the factors that may impact HAART treatment adherence among this population. The second phase uses information gathered through key informant interviews and surveys to aid in the creation of a community based program designed to Link Individual Faith Together with HAART (LIFT My HAART). The purpose of the initiative is to influence how HIV-positive pregnant women are counseled by those they look to for spiritual guidance. The goal is to increase treatment adherence for HIV-positive pregnant women who identify with the Christian faith.
Table of Contents
Appendix A: RFP 108