Prevention within a pastoral strategy: assessing the abc-model with reference to the hiv/aids pandemic in Swaziland

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master in Theology in Pastoral Care and Counselling (HIV/AIDS)
Title Prevention within a pastoral strategy: assessing the abc-model with reference to the hiv/aids pandemic in Swaziland
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
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
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.
Stellenbosch University 5
(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

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