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Religiosity May Be Instrumental In Preventing The Spread Of HIV-AIDS

robability sample — not race- or gender-specific — and remains the only national probability sample of HIV-positive patients in care.

Galvan said the RAND study's findings are not likely to have changed over time. He said the findings are consistent with other studies that have found a link between religiosity and fewer lifetime sexual partners and an inverse relationship between religiosity and other high-risk behaviors, such as substance abuse.

Other studies have found that gay men report a similar rate of attendance at religious services as male heterosexuals, and about the same rate in the frequency of prayer as do female heterosexuals. African-Americans, who have been disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, also report high levels of both attendance at religious services and prayer.

HCSUS survey respondents were given a choice among 46 denominational affiliations, as well as the categories of agnostic/atheist, no religious preference, or having a religious preference not mentioned on the list provided. Those affiliations were then grouped into the following categories: Catholic, Evangelical, Other Christian, Non-Christian Religion, and No Religion/Agnostic/Atheist.

The RAND study found several religious differences between the survey group and the general U.S. population. The survey group appeared to be more likely to be Evangelical and more likely to be nonreligious, but less likely to come from Christian religions other than Evangelical or Catholic.

Some of these differences may be explained by the racial makeup of the survey population. African-Americans made up nearly a third of the survey population — compared with 13 percent of the U.S. population — and are more likely to belong to Evangelical denominations. Another factor influencing the high number of non-religious respondents is the fact that many religious groups consider homosexuality to be a morally unacceptable lifestyle. Gay and bisexua
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