Prevention within a pastoral strategy : assessing the ABC-model with reference to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Swaziland
Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis critically analyses the appropriateness and effectiveness of the ABC model in the HIV/AIDS prevention within the context of Swaziland. According to Louw (2008:423), the ABC model stands for the following: A = Abstinence, B = Be faithful and C = use Condoms. According to Green and Herling (2007:1) the ABC model has gained the attention of many countries. The attempt of this model in HIV prevention was to “aim at empowering people through value-based programs to basically abstain from sex as long as possible, to be faithful to one intimate partner and to use condoms correctly and consistently” (De la Porte 2006:79). The assessment of the HIV/AIDS virus in 1983-1984 came as a shock. It was difficult for the church to know at that time how to respond. Some of the responses pointed to the virus as punishment of God. Gradually the church started to become involved in the pandemic. From a Christian spirituality perspective it was argued that the so called ABC model could be viewed as a means of remedy within a prevention approach. The cultural issues as well as human sexuality factors have been discovered to be an obstacle in the ABC model in playing a progressive role in Swaziland. The cultural factors that prevent the ABC model from accomplishing effective results are listed in the final report of (Whiteside et al. 2006: 18-19): bunganwa (having multiple sexual partners; a cultural practice of male married and unmarried to have many girlfriends); kungenwa (levirate or wife inheritance); a widow is given in marriage to marry the brother of her deceased husband without the consent of the women which exposes women to the HIV virus. This practice is done without the consent of the women. Kujuma (occasional overnight visits between unmarried lovers); kuhlanta (a young girl bearing the children of her infertile sister); kushenda (extramarital relationships); kulamuta (a man having a sexual relationship with a younger sister of his wife); and sitsembu (polygamy, one man with more than one wife); this is a common cultural practice found in many African countries due to gender inequality (Chitando 2009:26). This has led to Swaziland being seriously affected by the HIV/AIDS virus (Rupiya 2006:66). The high rate of infection is frightening in a small country with a population of 1 million. As Bishop M, Mabuza, the Anglican bishop indicated, the nation‟s existence is threatened. (Rosenow 2011: 32). Therefore the researcher proposed a pastoral model which gives dignity to human and adds the spiritual dimension of healing in the pastoral care and counselling. There is an urgent need for church leaders to be empowered to face the HIV/AIDS with knowledge that the pandemic is not a punishment for promiscuous people. The theology of sexuality emphasises the responsibility in every sexual engagement for people to be conscious to whatever decision they take.
AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In hierdie navorsing word die toepaslikheid en effektiwiteit van die ABC model in die voorkoming van MIV/Vigs binne die konteks van Swaziland krities ontleed. Volgens Louw (2008:423) staan ABC (in Engels) vir: A = Onthouding, B = Getrouheid aan een maat en C = Die gebruik van kondome. Die navorser, ‟n geordende predikant van die Evangeliese Lutherse Kerk, bespreek die erns van die voorkoms van die MIV/Vigs-infeksie in Swaziland. Empiries is bewys dat Swaziland een van die lande in Sub-Sahara en die wêreld is met die hoogste infeksiekoers (Rupiya 2006:66). Dit is ernstig in ‟n klein landjie soos Swaziland met ‟n bevolking van slegs 1 129 000. Die pandemie het ‟n impak op alle gemeenskappe in die land en bied‟n groot uitdaging vir die Kerk in Swaziland. Die vraag is hoe die Kerk, in haar pastorale bediening, die ABC model kan gebruik om die globale poging te steun om te verhoed dat MIV/Vigs versprei. Hoe kan die konsep van die ABC model toegepas word sodat die Kerk, as hulpgewende gemeenskap, kan sorg vir die siele van die gemeentelede (cura animarum) en effektief inligting omtrent die ABC model kan versprei en uitreik na MIV-positiewe mense? Die navorser stel voor dat daar verandering moet kom in die gesindheid van die Kerk en dat daar ‟n herkonseptualisasie van die voorkomingstrategie en die Skrifverklaring van menslike seksualiteit moet wees. Die Kerke in Swaziland moet hulle houding verander. Daar moet baie meer openlikheid wees sodat sosio-kulturele kwessies openlik bespreek kan word. Daar moet ‟n kritiese herbepaling wees van die tradisies en die kerkbeleid rondom menslike seksualiteit en hoe dit betrekking het op die MIV/Vigs-pandemie.