February 17, 2013 12:00 AM

Focus on Research column | Researchers: Religions play positive role in African AIDS crisis

Religious groups have done some good and some bad confronting AIDS in Africa, but several Western media criticisms of how religious groups are mishandling the epidemic are inaccurate and overstated. Through our research, my colleague Alexander Weinreb and I confirmed the importance of religious narratives and institutions in just about everything related to AIDS in Africa: religion matters for sexual behavior and how the disease is patterned within populations; it informs how people understand the disease; and it influences how people cope with effects of AIDS, for example, through providing care for the sick and for orphans.

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