Examining religious leaders and traditional healers' experiences and responses to HIV/AIDS in a modern community

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

With the rampant onslaught of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, concern from various sectors of South Africa has led to the disease receiving much publicity in more than one way. Despite the vast amount of exposure and availability of HIV/AIDS information, infection rates are still souring throughout communities. Therefore this study embarks on examining key individuals in communities that may be able to contribute to curtailing further infection rates. The study focuses specifically on 'examining the experiences and responses to HIV/AIDS, of religious leaders and traditional healers, in a modern community. The study acknowledges that these individuals are not only influential individuals, but are also educators in their respective communities and thus the study is situated within the education sector. The study is located in the qualitative paradigm because it seeks to achieve a deeper understanding of how religious leaders and traditional healers are positioned, how they interpret religious principles in relation to a disease that is primarily transmitted through sexual intercourse, and how they respond to, and deliberate about private issues such as sex and sexuality.

Includes bibliographical references.