In Canada, HIV disproportionately affects Black communities. Though Black faith leaders play an influential role engaging Black communities around social care and social justice, their response to HIV has been somewhat muted. Black PRAISE is a novel intervention for Black churches to strengthen congregants’ critical awareness of HIV affecting Black communities. A multi-stakeholder team developed and tested the intervention in 2016 − 17 among six churches in the province of Ontario, where more than half of Black Canadians reside, using a community-based participatory approach. Specifically, the intervention aimed to strengthen how congregants understand HIV among Black communities and reduce their level of stigma toward people living with HIV. We addressed critical awareness among the participating congregations through (i) disseminating a booklet with validated information that promoted critical health literacy related to HIV; (ii) enabling pastors to deliver a sermon on love, compassion and social justice; and (iii) developing and screening a short film that featured Black Canadians discussing their experiences of HIV-related stigma. We assessed changes in knowledge and stigma by surveying congregants (N = 173) at baseline and two follow-ups using validated instruments and other measures. Through Black PRAISE, congregants significantly increased their HIV-related knowledge; moreover, exposure to all the intervention components was associated with a significantly reduced level of stigma. A likely strategic outcome of Black PRAISE is that churches are empowered to help strengthen Black people’s community-based response to HIV and join efforts to eliminate the structural conditions that increase Black people’s vulnerability to HIV.

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