MPhil study projects

Examining the knowledge, attitudes and practices of charismatic churches in Emzinoni, Bethal, regarding HIV

Student: Nomsa Sheron Ndaba

Country: South Africa

This study investigated the HIV/Aids knowledge, attitudes and practices concerning HIV in charismatic churches in Emzinoni, Bethal, aiming to assess the churches’ response to the epidemic.

While the survey conducted with 32 respondents indicated a satisfactory level of HIV/Aids knowledge, it could not definitively attribute this to church-provided information over education received elsewhere. Nonetheless, this knowledge appeared adequate to prompt further learning from church leaders and identify areas for improvement in their teachings.

The findings revealed a deficient church response to the HIV epidemic, largely attributed to a lack of understanding about the virus. The recommendations included actively responding to the HIV epidemic by implementing HIV programmes and initiatives, addressing HIV-related stigma and discrimination in congregations, openly discussing topics such as sexuality and disease, collaborating with government agencies and healthcare providers, ensuring that responses are based on accurate knowledge, prioritising the well-being and empowerment of individuals and families affected by HIV and engaging young people in HIV prevention and education. The recommendations also emphasised the importance of education, awareness campaigns, creating a supportive and inclusive environment and being guided by ethical and theological considerations.