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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master of Arts
Title Stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV (PLHIV) in the methodists church a case of Njia Circuit, Igembe South Sub County, Meru County
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Stigma and discrimination are great components that lead to seclusion of people
living with HIV and AIDS. Stigma as been stated to be the highest killer than the
virus itself. A global call by UNAIDS of zero discrimination by 2015 continue to
be shadowed by increased stigma despite so much information on HIV and AIDS.
This study sought to establish why stigma is prevalent against PLHIV within
Methodist Church in Njia Circuit where love and care would be expected. This
study focused on Methodist Church in Igembe south sub county. The study
examined the level of knowledge on HIV and AIDS in Njia Circuit, Biblical
teachings on the terminally ill and causes of stigma and discrimination with the
hope of establishing the roots of stigma and discrimination. It also addressed the
effects of stigma and discrimination on PLHIV. The literature review focused on
four themes namely, level of knowledge on HIV and AIDS in the church, biblical
teaching on stigma and discrimination on the terminally ill, causes and effects
stigma on PLHIV within the church setup. Maslow theory was used in illustrating
stigma against PLHIV. The theory shows that stigma lowers the self esteem of
PLHIV resulting in self denial, non disclosure and suicidal tendencies. The study
adopted survey research design. Data for the study is drawn from both primary and
secondary sources. Field study was carried out in Njia Circuit which is found in
Nyambene synod of the Methodist Church in Kenya. Data was collected by use of
questionnaires, oral interviews and focused group discussion (FGDs). In this
study, the researcher employed random and purposive sampling to select
respondents. In cases where the number of respondents were either one or two in
the category required by the study, purposive sampling was used. The sample size
targeted by this study was 106 respondents comprising of PLHIV, orphans, church
ministers, church members ,lay preachers of the Methodist Church, Bishop and
constituency Aids control council Secretary. Both qualitative and quantitative
methods of data analysis were employed. The data was then synthesized
thematically according to the study objectives and presumed chapters. The
research findings established there was stigma on PLHIV within the church in Njia
Circuit. It was also clear that there was lack of information within the churches on
HIV and AIDS. This perpetuated fear and low disclosure of one‟s HIV status .The
study recommends that for the church to fight stigma on PLHIV the church should
look at issues such as information dissemination on HIV, encourage disclosure in
churches, preaching openly on HIV and AIDS sensitizing of congregation on
prevalence of stigma in church. This would alleviate stigma and make PLHIV feel
accepted in the church and the community in general.

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