MPhil study projects

The response of the Evangelical Church in South Africa to HIV prevention: A case study of two local churches in Ingwavuma district, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Student: Bhekizenzo Thulani Dlamini

Country: South Africa

This study aimed to investigate the role of the Evangelical Church in South Africa in HIV/Aids prevention. Despite substantial resources allocated to the abstain, be faithful and condomise (ABC) campaign, its effectiveness in reducing new infections remains limited.

Faith-based organisations have suffered membership losses due to Aids-related illnesses, suggesting a substantial HIV-positive population in congregations. This study sought to understand Evangelical Church members’ perspectives on the church’s role in HIV prevention and its alignment with the ABC campaign. Data was gathered through questionnaires and online interviews, with precautions to protect participants from Covid-19.

Questionnaires were electronically distributed to volunteers, while interviews targeted pastors, elders and health professionals involved in HIV prevention. The findings indicated a consensus that the church should advocate for HIV prevention but divergent opinions on endorsing condom use. Most participants supported advocating for abstinence and faithfulness but were hesitant to promote condoms in HIV/Aids ministries.

This research shed light on the complex interplay between faith, public health and HIV/Aids prevention strategies in the Evangelical Church in South Africa.