MPhil study projects

The Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) church’s response to the HIV/Aids epidemic: A case study of the Pretoria East branches

Student: Nicolaide Nomzamo Ndlovu

Country: Zimbabwe

Faith-based organisations In South Africa play a vital role in combatting the HIV/Aids epidemic. Church leaders, trusted figures in their communities, are well-positioned to effectively implement HIV interventions among community members who might otherwise be difficult to reach.

This study aimed to investigate the Seventh Day Adventist Church’s response to HIV/Aids. Through a quantitative cross-sectional case study, 73 church members and 11 administrators in Pretoria East participated via online questionnaires distributed through WhatsApp groups. The findings revealed that stigma, discrimination and low awareness of church initiatives were prevalent issues, with members and administrators expressing similar concerns.

The study suggested that the church could enhance its response by organising educational workshops to dispel misinformation, contracting trained HIV/Aids specialists and collaborating with external counsellors to ensure members’ privacy. Future research could focus on addressing stigma and discrimination in the church and expanding the study’s scope for broader insights.

The study underscored the importance of engaging members, educating church leaders on HIV/Aids and raising awareness of available initiatives to mitigate stigma and discrimination and effectively combat HIV/Aids in the church community.