Original Research

The lack of knowledge on HIV by pastors in the Thulamela Municipality: Pastoral power

Tshifhiwa S. Netshapapame, Itumeleng D. Mothoagae
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 79, No 1 | a7794 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v79i1.7794 | © 2023 Tshifhiwa S. Netshapapame, Itumeleng D. Mothoagae | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 May 2022 | Published: 23 May 2023

About the author(s)

Tshifhiwa S. Netshapapame, Institute of Gender Studies, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Itumeleng D. Mothoagae, Institute of Gender Studies, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


The Church, as an institution, has pioneered ground-breaking interventions, although some of these interventions were also a vehicle for imperial colonisation. Through its missionary activities, the Church has exercised such a form of power over its flock. This article intends to analyse the extent of the knowledge that pastors in Thulamela Municipality, Limpopo Province, have concerning HIV/AIDS and the prejudices associated with the illness. The article applies a qualitative approach in ascertaining the extent of such knowledge as well as the pastoral approaches utilised. In this qualitative phenomenological study, the authors explored the knowledge of these pastors regarding HIV/AIDS. A semi-structured interview guide was used to direct the collection of data. Following thematic analysis, the knowledge of pastors regarding HIV/AIDS emerged as the theme of the study. The findings revealed that difficulties relating to providing pastoral care to people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH) were exacerbated by a lack of knowledge and limited training offered to pastors. The article will further argue that there is a need for a partnership between the churches and public health services.

Contribution: This article strives to expose biblical discourse exhibited by pastors because of a lack of theological formation and to suggest a way forward in collaborating the church as a religious institution and public health institution for combating HIV/AIDS.


AIDS; HIV; knowledge; pastors; phenomenological; missionary medicine; pastoral power.


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Crossref Citations

1. The Doctrine of Retribution and Religious Responses to the HIV and AIDS Pandemic
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doi: 10.46222/pharosjot.105.225