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HIV and AIDS, Stigma and Liberation in the Old Testament

In: Exchange
Authors:
Ezra ChitandoHistory and Phenomenology of Religion, Department of Religious Studies, Classics and Philosophy, University of Zimbabwe

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Masiiwa GundaDepartment of Religious Studies, Classics and Philosophy, University of Zimbabwe

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Abstract

As the HIV and AIDS pandemic continues to affect most parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, the church has attempted to mitigate its effects. Unfortunately, stigma has emerged as a major challenge. The church has been implicated in stigmatizing people living with HIV and AIDS. Some Christians have used the Bible to justify the exclusion of people living with HIV and AIDS. This article examines HIV and AIDS stigma. It highlights the various forms of stigma, alongside exploring the occurrence of stigma in the Hebrew Bible. The study calls for a re-reading of the Hebrew Bible in the context of HIV and AIDS stigma and discrimination. It argues that the theme of liberation that underpins the Hebrew Bible implies that stigma has no place in human relations. The paper draws attention to the need to bring liberation to the heart of mission in the light of HIV and AIDS in Africa.

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