This chapter describes religious patterns in HIV prevalence across Africa. First, it shows that at the individual-level, whether across or within countries, there are no consistent differences in HIV prevalence across major religious traditions. In other words, no single religious bloc stands out as either more protected against HIV or—on the flipside—more likely to have been affected by AIDS. The chapter then identifies the more important source of religious differences in HIV prevalence: the religiosity of individuals and the religiosity of their communities. Introducing the idea of “pool of risk,” the chapter highlights the important independent effects that both individual and average religiosity have on HIV prevalence and spotlights how substantially these effects vary by gender.
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