AbstractsPhilosophy & Theology

“No more buzz”

by Simon Hallonsten

Institution: Uppsala University
Year: 2016
Keywords: South Africa; HIV; AIDS; stigma; Anglican Church; Western Cape; Cape Town; Church; Humanities; Philosophy, Ethics and Religion; Religious Studies; Humaniora; Filosofi, etik och religion; Religionsvetenskap; Bachelor Programme in Theology and Religious Studies; Kandidatprogram i religionsvetenskap; Studies in Church and Mission; Kyrko- och missionsstudier
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2063643
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-296653


The paper studies the degree of engagement in questions of HIV in the local Anglican Church in Ocean View, Cape Town, using a triangulation design combining participant observation, survey results and interviews. Survey results from two other parishes in the Cape Town area and from clergy in the dioceses of Cape Town and False Bay are used to extend the material and to establish wider patterns in an extended case study approach. The findings show that people in the congregation of St Clare of Assisi in Ocean View are generally aware of HIV. The “buzz” around HIV has however subsided. The congregation is not directly engaged in work relating to HIV anymore and HIV is more mentioned than talked about in the church. HIV stigma continues to pose a challenge to the response to HIV at the local level. Conceptualisations of HIV vary markedly among members of the congregation with a majority seeing HIV+ people as living positively. There is also a group that strongly associates HIV with death, dirt and filth. The results are confirmed to hold also in other parishes of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa in the Western Cape. To work towards the prevention of HIV, the local church needs to put HIV back on the agenda and continue to speak about the virus by integrating HIV perspectives into the current framework.