Mission & Evangelism
HIV/AIDS resources

An HIV and AIDS Curriculum
for Theological Institutions in Africa

“Every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” (Matt. 13:52)

Twenty years after HIV/AIDS was discovered medically, it has become clear that it is more than just a medical issue. It pervades all areas of our lives: social, economic, political, cultural.1 And it is more than just an individual problem: it affects families, communities, nations and continents, indeed, the whole world. It thus commands the attention of all disciplines, departments, governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, faith-based and community-based organizations. The global impact of HIV/AIDS demands a multi-sectoral approach to prevention, care and mitigation of its impact.2 The approach calls for the mainstreaming of HIV/AIDS in all areas and institutions of our lives.

The devastating impact of HIV/AIDS also necessitates intensive education and research programmes in the search for the most effective strategies and methods of prevention, care, relief and a possible cure. The church of Africa, where the largest numbers of infected and affected people are to be found, is also challenged to adopt a multi-sectoral approach, to educate and do research on effective ways of fighting HIV/AIDS among its members, the society and God’s creation at large. This curriculum represents one effort towards this end.

The process of drawing up the curriculum started in June 2000, when MAP International, with the support of the WCC and UNAIDS, hosted a forum of academic deans, principals, theologians and representatives from twenty theological institutions of all denominations from fourteen countries in east and southern Africa. Participants were challenged to develop an HIV/AIDS curriculum to ensure that HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support ministries are institutionalized. A year later, in July 2001, the first draft of the curriculum was used to train 24 trainers from the same regions.

Following this, southern African trained trainers, with the support and encouragement of the WCC, ran two training-of-trainers workshops (August 2001 in South Africa and September 2001 in Botswana) for theological institutions in their region. About sixty participants from nine countries of southern Africa and from Protestant, Evangelical, Catholic, African Indigenous churches and Orthodox backgrounds attended. As well as training more theological lecturers on the integration of HIV/AIDS in the curriculum, the workshops sought to exchange views and to review further the first version of the curriculum, in order to make it more ecumenical and user friendly. Thus they also served as a trail-testing forum for the first version of the curriculum. Reviews and observations indicated that participants highly appreciated training in counselling and expressed a desire for more training in this area. Participants also wanted further training in methods and frameworks of teaching theological and biblical studies in HIV/AIDS contexts. This version of the curriculum reflects these needs.

While the first version had three units on human sexuality and HIV/AIDS information, the Christian church response and programme development, this version has five units: biblical studies, theology and counselling, previously subsumed under the Christian church response, are now individual units. The review of this curriculum is by no means final: it will continue to be sharpened and polished as users find it necessary and as the HIV/AIDS phenomenon changes with time. However, all theological institutions, in Africa and elsewhere, can use this version to integrate HIV/AIDS in their theological programmes. The time for this integration, in fact, was yesterday!

20 November 2001Musa Wenkosi Dube
University of Botswana

Introduction: The HIV/AIDS epidemic and the church
The HIV/AIDS epidemic is the gravest challenge facing humanity. An estimated 36.1 million people are living with HIV, 25.3 million of them in sub-Saharan Africa. Since its outbreak, HIV/AIDS has taken the lives of 21.8 people worldwide, 17 million of whom were in sub-Saharan Africa. It has orphaned 12.1 million children in this region. The country with the highest number of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), South Africa, and the country with the highest infection rate, Botswana, are both in the sub-Saharan continent.3 And yet, as statistics indicate, it is a worldwide problem. HIV/AIDS causes appalling human suffering to the infected and the affected – individuals and their families, communities and nations alike. It leaves nothing untouched and it continues to baffle the world.

The response to this new phenomenon, seeking to arrest, control and explain HIV/AIDS, has been a journey which has yielded many useful strategies and, inevitably, involved many mistakes as well. Some useful strategies – screening blood, extensive information and educational campaigns, promotion of safer sex, community mobilization and intervention programmes, development of drugs that minimize the virus and control chance infections, counselling and testing centres and development of commitment among public leaders – have greatly helped. Some of the mistakes were a long period of disbelief and delayed response to the warning; self-righteousness that associated HIV/AIDS with immorality or certain groups; campaign messages associating HIV/AIDS with death, thus fostering fear and helplessness; lack of sufficient knowledge and information, and the continued association of HIV/AIDS with medical departments rather than all departments; too much association of prevention of HIV/AIDS with knowledge and individual choices rather than with social relations and structures that shape the decisions; and the long reluctance of Western pharmaceutical companies to make drugs affordable and accessible. These problems, among many others, have hampered effective HIV/AIDS prevention and care and created other epidemics such as stigma and fear.

Two decades of struggle to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS have highlighted its complexity. Disbelief in its existence has now been replaced by the awesome consciousness of its pervasive presence and impact on individual, family and community, as well as at national and international levels. Real-life experiences and research have demonstrated that HIV/AIDS affects and permeates our social, economic and political lives. Moreover, it has been shown that HIV/AIDS cannot simply be put down to an individual lack of morality, for many innocent children are born with HIV/AIDS, some parents catch HIV/AIDS through caring for their children without protective gloves, many faithful partners are infected by their unfaithful spouses, innocent girls and women are infected by rape in and outside their homes, many poor women have to choose between dying of hunger and raising a little money through sex work, many economically poor governments and nations have to live with failing to provide services for their infected and affected populations, and the politically unstable conditions of war, which create socially displaced people, render most HIV/AIDS prevention and care messages ineffective. In sum, HIV/AIDS has demonstrated that its fertile soil is social injustice.

After intensive information campaigns that have yielded relatively limited results, it is now known that HIV/AIDS is an epidemic within other epidemics such as poverty, gender injustice, social discrimination of certain groups, war, violation of children’s rights and cultures of inequality.4 It is, therefore, evident that fighting HIV/AIDS must include addressing its accompanying epidemics, namely, stigma and social injustice in all forms. The approach must also see individuals as social beings, whose choices and capacity to protect themselves are inherently dependent on their social relations and power.5 Lastly, as we have said, HIV/AIDS prevention, care and mitigation of its impact must be multi-sectoral. That is, all institutions, communities, individuals, families, clubs, governments, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, the donor community, and faith-based organizations must plan and implement HIV/AIDS prevention and care programmes and policies for themselves and the society as a whole. The approach to HIV/AIDS, in other words, is everybody’s business and demands extensive networking.

The church, as the body of Christ, is a community of healing and compassion.6 By preaching the good news of Jesus Christ, the church espouses the message of social, individual, national and international wholeness. For the church, all people, regardless of their gender, class, ethnicity, race, age, religion, are created in God’s image and life itself is God’s will for humankind and creation as a whole (Gen. 1-2). This was further underlined by Jesus, who came that all may have life and have it in fullness (John 10:10). Accordingly, Christ’s earthly ministry was characterized by healing all diseases unconditionally (Mark 1:29-34), forgiving sins (John 8:1-12; Luke 7:36-49, 15:11-32), breaking the stigma associated with leprosy by touching lepers and restoring their physical and social health (Mark 1:40-45; Luke 17:11-19), denouncing self-righteousness among believers (Luke 18:9-14), taking sides with the poor and marginalized (Matt. 9:10-13; Luke 18:1-8), prophetically denouncing oppressive social structures (Luke 4:16-22) and triumphantly defeating the power of death through his resurrection. In short, biblical teaching, the gospel of Christ and church traditions provide adequate frameworks for the church to serve God’s people in the HIV/AIDS era. Indeed, the church’s close connection with individuals, families and the community, its availability even in the most remote areas, has put it in the centre of HIV/AIDS care. The church is there for the sick, the dying, the dead, the bereaved, the orphaned and widowed, offering love and hope in the gospel of Christ. And as a community of compassion and healing, the church is a pool of human resources, who are willing to reach out to God’s people.

Nonetheless, the HIV/AIDS epidemic has underlined that as Christians we see only in part (1 Cor. 13:9-10) and that the church, as the body of Christ, is also infected and affected, for its members suffer and die. The church needs healing.

A number of perspectives also highlight the need for the church to repent and rededicate itself to the gospel of Christ. First, the church interpreted HIV/AIDS as a punishment for sin, thus adding to the entrenched stigma and alienating the infected and affected from quality care. Second, the tradition of silence and negative perception of human sexuality has led to conflicting messages and an unclear approach to the question of safer sex and HIV/AIDS prevention. Indeed, in its insistence on sexual purity as the answer to HIV/AIDS prevention, the biblical perspective of sacredness of all human life has not been given adequate attention. Third, since HIV/AIDS is more than just an individual issue but is also a social and structural epidemic, the churches’ capitalization on the messages of abstinence and faithfulness demonstrates its failure to assume its prophetic role. The church has not adequately and prophetically addressed the social epidemics of poverty, war, gender inequality, discrimination on the basis of racial/ethnic and sexual orientation, international injustice, children and human-rights violations, which are the fertile soil of HIV/AIDS. Fourth, the church is conspicuously lacking in knowledge, counselling skills, financial resources and managerial skills, prophe- tic leadership, and networking between churches themselves, and with governments and NGOs. Denominational divisions are rife.

These shortcomings have, above all, highlighted theological poverty and the dire need for educational programmes for the church and its leadership.

As in all other areas, HIV/AIDS challenges us to fresh education, intense research, rethinking our lives, new planning and implementation for all sectors. The church is no exception. This curriculum seeks, therefore, to contribute towards these aims.

HIV/AIDS Theological Curriculum
A theological programme that seeks to integrate HIV/AIDS will of necessity demand commitment from the institutions and leaders concerned to create space and add more resources. While most theological programmes are already packed, efforts must be made to integrate HIV/AIDS in all courses or to create a separate course for this curriculum. Staff must be trained in the curriculum and funds must be available for new staff and to improve the library collection. Every theological training institution should help the church and its leadership to assume fully its prophetic and healing ministry in the HIV/AIDS era by training trainee ministers and church workers on the subject. Failure to prepare the church to serve God’s people in this most testing moment of human history is tantamount to failing Christ. As Facing AIDS: The Challenge, the Churches’ Response correctly points out,

The very relevance of the churches will be determined by their response. The crisis also challenges the churches to re-examine the human conditions which in fact promote the pandemic and to sharpen their awareness of people’s humanity to one another, of broken relationships and unjust structures, and of their own complacency and complicity. HIV/AIDS is a sign of the times, calling us to see and to understand.7

The complexity of HIV/AIDS, as one epidemic among many others, demands a curriculum approach that does not simply deal with symptoms. Rather, it must fully explore the complex factors behind the spread of HIV/AIDS, seek effective ways of halting its spread, be acquainted with various ways of delivering quality care to the infected and affected, and equip its learners with community leadership and programme management skills. On these grounds, this curriculum will deal with the following issues across the whole course, wherever possible:

– socio-economic issues (poverty);
– gender (men and women relationships in the society);
– age (impact of HIV/AIDS on children, youth and the elderly);
– PLWHA (their involvement in prevention and care);
– stigma (examining its impact and planning for it);
– cultural perspectives (the advantages and disadvantages of culture);
– biblical and theological perspectives (to use the church’s resources);
– liturgical approaches (to speak to the heart and change attitudes).

These issues have been chosen because, even though HIV/AIDS infects and affects all, it is the most powerless members of the society such as the poor, women, children, the socially uprooted, sex workers, people of different sexual orientations and drug users who are most likely to be infected and denied access to quality care. The HIV/AIDS stigma hampers both prevention and care, and unless planning takes it into account it often renders many good programmes ineffective. The involvement of PLWHA is a must, to let them speak for themselves and to help break the stigma and the silence. Biblical, theological and liturgical resources of various types are important in speaking to the heart and changing attitudes of individuals and communities, especially since information campaigns alone have proved inadequate.

Curriculum goals and objectives
This curriculum seeks to:
– reduce and finally eradicate the spread and impact of HIV/AIDS in Africa;
– strengthen the churches’ role and capacity to respond to the HIV/AIDS pandemic;
– equip Christian workers with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitude to serve their churches and society more effectively in the struggle against the HIV/AIDS epidemic;
– increase the capacity of students of theological institutions to design, implement and monitor HIV/AIDS prevention, and to support intervention programmes in their communities of work;
– exploit the Christian church’s own internal resources and heritage;
– promote a church leadership that stands up to the challenge of HIV/AIDS.

The general objectives seek to:
– equip learners and church workers with adequate knowledge and information about HIV/AIDS;
– assist the church and its leadership to exploit fully its own potential and internal resources such as the Bible, theology, church traditions, liturgy, and to develop a positive value system in the fight against HIV/AIDS;
– inculcate positive attitudes in the learners towards those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS;
– equip learners with knowledge and skills to develop and maintain positive reproductive health behaviour;
– assist learners to understand the role the church and community should play in meeting the challenges of HIV/AIDS;
– empower learners with analytical skills for a deeper understanding of the social factors (poverty, gender inequality, class, race, national stability and international relations) behind the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa;
– institutionalize HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support in theological and pastoral institutions;
– promote church leadership and a church that is equipped to serve in its social context and to meet the pressing needs of its people.

Programme design
The curriculum is designed to assist instructors, teachers, lecturers and professors in institutions which prepare clergy for ministry to mainstream HIV/AIDS in their training programmes, in order to produce church leaders and a church which is better equipped to serve in this age. As an ecumenical instrument, it is important to note the following factors in its use and design:

• The curriculum examines some critical issues in the Christian response to HIV and AIDS from many perspectives.
• The instructor and the institution concerned may use any part of the curriculum units in whole or in part. The material is designed to be incorporated easily into existing syllabi. Alternatively, the units and their analytical methods could constitute courses on a biblical, theological, counselling, gender and administrative approach to HIV and AIDS.
• The users of this curriculum and the recipients of its teaching will need to interpret and adjust its contents for their own cultural, organizational and church background, and economic and educational context within a sound theological framework.
• This curriculum is designed for undergraduate level; however, individual institutions, lecturers, instructors and professors are free to modify it to suit the different levels of educational training such as certificate, diploma and post-graduate. It can also be used to run short in-service courses for ordained ministers, church workers and the laity.
• The entry requirements for learners will depend on the institution’s requirements and goals.
• The time allocation for the topics covered in different units and the grading system will be left to the discretion of the institution.
• Individual lecturers and their institutions are free to avail themselves, or otherwise, of the recommended texts provided.
• The five units of the curriculum seek to: (1) impart correct information about HIV/AIDS; (2) explore the various biblical perspectives to disease, healing and compassion that can assist the church and its leadership to assume an effective approach to HIV/AIDS prevention and care; (3) explore how the available theological frameworks and analytical tools can equip the church and its leadership for effective ministry in HIV/AIDS contexts; (4) impart skills of care through counselling; (5) equip the church and its leadership with skills for effective leadership and management.

The units cover the following topics:
UNIT 1: Human sexuality and HIV/AIDS. Human sexuality; sexually transmitted diseases (STDs); facts about HIV/AIDS; prevention and control of HIV/AIDS; women, youth, children and HIV/AIDS.
UNIT 2: Biblical studies and HIV/AIDS. The framework of disease as punishment; Job challenges the framework of disease as punishment; prophetic healing and HIV/AIDS; Jesus’ healing ministry and HIV/AIDS; the healing ministry of the church and HIV/AIDS.
UNIT 3: Theology in HIV/AIDS contexts. A theology of creation and life (Gen. 1-2); African theologies and HIV/AIDS; liberation theologies and HIV/AIDS; feminist/womanist theologies and HIV/AIDS.
UNIT 4: Counselling and HIV/AIDS. Counselling and pastoral care; counselling in HIV/AIDS contexts; treatment and care for those infected and PLWHA; treatment and care for those affected by HIV/AIDS; institutional care, development and sustainability.
UNIT 5: Programme development and HIV/AIDS. Leadership skills; management skills; community mobilization skills; project management; mobilizing resources; training of trainers; writing a project proposal.

UNIT 1: Human Sexuality and HIV/AIDS
This unit aims at providing information on human sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV/AIDS, an area not openly discussed in African cultures and Christian churches. The tradition of no discussion, however, entrenches the stigma and hampers HIV/AIDS prevention and care. It is essential to break this silence. Therefore this unit seeks to expose the learner to the facts about HIV/AIDS and to enable learners to feel free to discuss matters relating to human sexuality openly. The unit also looks at the special area of women and youth in relation to HIV/AIDS.

At the end of this unit, learners should be able to:
– define various aspects of human sexuality and their own sexuality;
– demonstrate correct understanding of factual information on HIV/AIIDS and sexually transmitted diseases;
– understand various social factors that precipitate the spread of HIV/AIDS;
– describe methods of HIV/AIDS prevention, control and care;
– discuss and compare some cultural and biblical views on human sexuality and their impact on HIV/AIDS prevention and control;
– analyze the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and children;
– develop life skills such as social, moral, ethical and communication.

Human sexuality
– various forms of human sexuality
– cultural views of human sexuality
– biblical views on human sexuality
– gender, age, race, class and human sexuality
– liturgical approach to human sexuality

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
– defining common STDs and their symptoms
– modes of transmission, prevention and treatment
– cultural and biblical perspectives on STDs
– gender, class, age and STDs
– the link between STDs and HIV/AIDS

Facts about HIV/AIDS
– defining HIV and AIDS
– transmission of HIV and its medical diagnosis
– AIDS-related symptoms and diseases
– poverty, gender, youth, race and HIV/AIDS
– cultural and biblical perspectives on HIV/AIDS
– caring for the infected and affected

Prevention and control of HIV/AIDS
– information and educational approach
– behavioural change and safer sex practices
– gender, youth, children, poverty and prevention
– cultural, biblical and legal perspectives
– liturgical approach to prevention and control

Women, youth, children and HIV/AIDS
– vulnerability of women and youth to infection
– impact on women, youth and children
– HIV/AIDS care, women and the girl-child
– enlisting men in HIV/AIDS prevention and care
– human rights, legal and theological empowerment
– liturgical approach to empowerment

The unit will be taught through reading materials, field-work research, story-telling, library research, internet surfing, videotapes, in-class group experiences, writing new liturgy and worship materials.

Instructional material
Textbooks, videotapes, blackboard, handouts and overhead projectors.
Student assessment

The class will be structured so as to provide students with in-class group experiences.

In assessing their knowledge of this lesson, students can write essays on themes that emerge as particularly important to the students and their communities.

Required/recommended texts
Gideon Byamugisha, Breaking the Silence: How Can Religious Institutions Talk about Sexual Matters in Their Communities, Kampala, Tricolour, 2000.
Facing AIDS: The Challenge, the Churches’ Response, WCC, 1997, pp.6-19.
Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Understanding the Issues, Oslo, NCA, 2000 (http://www.nca.no).
Growing Together: A Guide for Parents and Youth, Nairobi, MAP International, 1996.
HIV/AIDS: Grasping Its Gender Dimension, Brussels, APRODEV, 2000 (gender.officer@aprodev.net).

Internet sites: http://www.who.int/health-topics/hiv.htm; http://www.unaids.org; http://www.worldbank.org/afr/aids; http://www.jag.on.ca/hiv; http://www.
UNAIDS, Report on Global Epidemic, June 2000 (http://www.unaids.org).
UNDP, Botswana Human Development Report, Gaborone, UNDP, 2000.
UNDP and UNAIDS, Fact Sheets: Global Crisis, Global Action, June 2001.
WCC, Special Report on the Integration of HIV/AIDS in the Curriculum, Gaborone, Botswana Christian Council, 2001.
Alice Welbourn, Stepping Stones: A Training Package on HIV/AIDS Communication and Relationship Skills, London, Actionaid, 1995.

UNIT 2: Biblical Studies and HIV/AIDS
The Bible is an authoritative book of the church, guiding its life in all contexts. With the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the church seeks understanding and guidance from the Bible regarding disease, healing, stigma and isolation, guilt and fear, caring, death and dying. For the African church, as African theology underlines, the Old Testament has a significant place. The response to HIV/AIDS was thus largely interpreted within the framework of disease as punishment for an individual’s sin. This approach fuelled the HIV/AIDS stigma and hampered the church’s ministry to the affected and infected. This unit seeks to explore and expose the learner to various other biblical frameworks of understanding and handling disease as well as to re-read the Bible in the light of HIV/AIDS.

At the end of the course, learners should be able to:
– identify the various frameworks of understanding disease in the Bible;
– understand that the framework of disease as sin is highly contested within the Old Testament (Job) and rejected by Jesus;
– understand that healing is an unconditional God’s will for all and that it is central to the ministry of the church;
– develop a biblical basis for fighting the stigma of HIV/AIDS;
– utilize the prophetic framework to analyze social injustice and the biblical perspective to justice;
– assume an advocacy/prophetic role regarding the rights of women, youth, children, PLWHA and other marginalized groups.

The framework of disease as punishment:
Some perspectives from the Pentateuch and historical books
– disobedience, punishment and death (Gen. 30)
– disobedience and the plagues of Egypt (Ex. 1-12)
– diseases and the priest-physician (Lev. 13-15)
– individual, leadership and community disobedience (Num. 12, 14 and 21:4-9)
– obedience as blessing and disobedience as disaster (Deut. 7:12-16 and 28)
– the census plague (2 Sam. 24)

Job challenges the framework of disease as punishment
– the righteous do suffer (Job 1-2)
– social support: family, friends and suffering (Job 2:9-13)
– the great debate: is Job’s illness a consequence of sin (Job 3-37)
– Job is righteous but he suffers (Job 38-42)
– usable frameworks from Job for dealing with HIV/AIDS

Prophetic healing and HIV/AIDS
– prophecy in the Old Testament and New Testament
– the prophet, prophecy and HIV/AIDS
– Jesus’ prophetic role and HIV/AIDS
– orphans, widows, prophecy and HIV/AIDS
– culture, church, HIV/AIDS stigma and prophecy
– national and international injustice, HIV/AIDS and prophecy

Jesus’ healing ministry and HIV/AIDS
– the centrality of healing in Jesus’ ministry (the gospels)
– Jesus challenged the framework of disease as sin (John 9)
– spiritual healing: forgiving sins and welcoming social outcasts
– breaking the stigma: touching lepers and unconditional healing
– defeating death: raising the dead and the resurrection
– prophesying against social injustice (Luke 4:16-28)

The healing ministry of the church and HIV/AIDS
– disciples were sent to heal and teach (Matt. 10 and 20)
– the healing ministry of the early church (Acts)
– life, diseases and healing in Pauline literature
– life, diseases and healing in Johannine literature
– life, diseases and healing in pastoral letters
– the prophetic role of the church and HIV/AIDS

This unit will be taught through lectures, library research, assigned readings, class presentations and discussions. Students will also be expected to carry out field-work research by reading various biblical passages with the non-academic community to establish the perspectives of their people or assessing church and funeral sermons.

Instructional material
Textbooks, blackboard, videotapes, handouts and overhead projectors.
Student assessment
Students will write exegetical papers on chosen or assigned biblical passages or themes, demonstrating interpretations that engage and enhance HIV/AIDS prevention and care.
Required/recommended texts
Musa W. Dube ed., Other Ways of Reading: African Women and the Bible, Geneva/Atlanta, WCC/SBL, 2001.
Musa W. Dube, “Preaching to the Converted: Unsettling the Christian Church”, in Ministerial Formation, 93, 2001.
Musa W. Dube and T.S. Maluleke eds, Missionalia, special issue on HIV/AIDS, 29, 3, 2001.
Mary N. Getui, Knult Holter and Victor Zinkurative eds, Interpreting the Old Testament in Africa, Nairobi, Acton, 2001.
Knult Holter, Yahweh in Africa: Essays on Africa and the Old Testament, New York, Peter Lang, 2001.
C.A. Newsom and Sharon H. Ringe eds, The Women’s Bible Commentary, Louisville/London, Westminster John Knox/SPCK, 1992.
W. Saayman and W. Kriel, AIDS: The Leprosy of Our Time?, Johannesburg, Orion, 1992.
E. Schussler Fiorenza, Rhetoric and Ethic: The Politics of Biblical Studies, Minneapolis, Fortress, 1999.
Jean-Samuel Hendje Toya, AIDS/SIDA: Africa Regional Contribution to the Council Theme, Wuppertal, United Evangelical Mission, 2001.
G. West and Musa W. Dube eds, The Bible in Africa, Leiden, Brill, 2000.
WCC, Special Report on the Integration of HIV/AIDS in the Curriculum, Gaborone, Botswana Christian Council, 2001.

UNIT 3: Theology in HIV/AIDS Contexts
Research indicates a close link between HIV/AIDS and social injustice, poverty, culture and gender inequality. This unit seeks to explore and utilize the available theological perspectives, which have already been applied to these issues, to enhance HIV/AIDS prevention and care. The unit seeks to produce church ministers who are theologically mature to provide the much-needed leadership in the struggle against HIV/AIDS and its accompanying social epidemics of injustice.

At the end of this course, learners should be able to:
– understand various theological perspectives and their views on HIV/AIDS;
– identify useful and harmful cultural perspectives in the fight against HIV/AIDS;
– analyze how poverty and gender inequality catalyze HIV/AIDS;
– use the framework of liberation to propound theologies of life, healing, hope, social justice and human rights;
– promote networking and an ecumenical approach to HIV/AIDS.

Theology of creation (Gen. 1-2)
– the sacredness of all life
– interdependency and goodness of creation
– men and women created in God’s image and blessed
– freedom, risk and responsibility in creation
– sin in creation (Gen. 3)

African theologies and HIV/AIDS
– concepts of life and death in African world-views
– causes of disease, HIV/AIDS and African cultures
– individual and community healing in African cultures
– women, children and HIV/AIDS in African cultures
– theology of care, HIV/AIDS and African cultures

Liberation theologies and HIV/AIDS
– oppression, social injustice and disease
– poverty, racial and sexual discrimination
– liberation, social justice, life and healing
– gender, children rights, HIV/AIDS and healing
– healing the world: international and human rights

Feminist/womanist theologies and HIV/AIDS
– feminist/womanist perspectives on sin, diseases and HIV/AIDS
– feminist/womanist perspectives on healing, wholeness and care
– feminist/womanist perspectives on women in church and society
– feminist/womanist understanding of women in African cultures
– HIV/AIDS prevention, care and human rights

This unit will be taught through lectures, reading assigned texts and discussing in class, reading assigned texts and writing reflection papers, collecting theological perspectives from different churches and presenting them in class for discussion.

Instructional material
Textbooks, blackboard, handouts and overhead projectors.
Student assessment
Students will write papers based on library and field-work research on a chosen or assigned theological theme, demonstrating theological reflection that engages and enhances HIV/AIDS prevention and care.

Required/recommended texts
Facing AIDS: The Challenge, the Churches’ Response WCC, 1997, pp.20-46,69-76.
Tinyiko S. Maluleke, “Towards a New Theological Education Curriculum for the 21st Century in Africa: HIV/AIDS and the Kairos”, in Report on the HIV/AIDS Curriculum Development Consultation for Theological Institutions in Eastern and Southern Africa, Nairobi, MAP International, 2000, pp.91-105.
Emmanuel Martey, African Theology: Enculturation and Liberation, Maryknoll NY, Orbis, 1993.
John Mbiti, Introduction to African Religion, Oxford, Hienemann, 1975 2nd ed.
Itumeleng J. Mosala, Biblical Hermeneutics and Black Theology in South Africa, Grand Rapids MI, Eerdmans, 1989.
R. Nicholson, God in AIDS, London, SCM Press, 1996.
Nyambura Njoroge and Musa W. Dube eds, Talitha Cum: Theologies of African Women, Natal, Cluster, 2001.
G. Paterson, Love in a Time of AIDS: Women, Health and the Challenge of HIV, WCC, 1996.
Letty Russell and J. Shannon eds, Dictionary of Feminist Theologies, Louisville, Westminster John Knox, 1996.
Gilkes Townsend, “If it Were Not for Women...”: Black Women’s Experience and Womanist Culture in Church and Community, New York, Orbis 2001.
WCC, Special Report on the Integration of HIV/AIDS in the Curriculum, Gaborone, Botswana Christian Council, 2001.

UNIT 4: Counselling and HIV/AIDS
Given that HIV/AIDS is, so far, an incurable disease with an extensive impact on the infected and affected, care-giving skills are imperative. This unit seeks to equip the learners with counselling skills that would assist the infected and affected to live positively and with hope in their situations.

At the end of this course, learners should be able to:
– hold professional and pastoral skills of counselling;
– understand the emotional turmoil, social and spiritual needs of PLWHA and their families;
– understand the special needs of children and women affected and infected by HIV/AIDS;
– counsel those seeking to undertake an HIV/AIDS test;
– counsel those who tested positive with empathy and compassion to live positively with their status;
– counsel AIDS patients with their care-givers to manage the illness;
– counsel care-givers and organize programmes to avoid burn-out;
– counsel the bereaved, orphans and widows.

Counselling and pastoral care
– basic principles and skills of counselling
– the process and values of counselling
– gender: men and women in counselling
– children of different ages in counselling
– African cultural perspectives of counselling

Counselling in HIV/AIDS contexts
– pre- and post-HIV/AIDS test counselling
– pre- and post-marriage counselling
– counselling HIV and AIDS sufferers
– counselling care-givers (family, friends, counsellors)
– peer group counselling (referring or forming support groups)
– death, dying and bereavement counselling

Treatment and care for those infected and PLWHA
– nutrition, exercise and the quality of life
– exploring and addressing the spiritual and psychological needs
– understanding and managing opportunistic infections
– addressing the needs of infected women and children
– integrated home-based care and community care
– liturgical approach to treatment and care for infected

Treatment and care for those affected by HIV/AIDS
– identifying the affected (orphans, widows, grandparents, etc.)
– mental, spiritual and physical needs of the affected
– legal and professional care for the affected
– social support and networking
– liturgical approach to the treatment and care for the affected

Institutional care, development and sustainability
– hospice care and day-care centres for the terminally ill
– child-headed houses, orphanages and day-care centres for children
– feeding centres for orphans, the elderly, widows, etc.
– foster and adoption service centres
– half-way homes for rural families with hospitalized relatives

This unit will be taught through reading materials, lectures, class discussions, handouts, videotapes, role-play, in-class group case study applications, field placement, supervised practice and liturgical celebrations.

Instructional material
Textbooks, videotapes, blackboard, handouts and overhead projectors.

Student assessment
The student will have supervised role-plays, worship services and practicum outside.

Required/recommended texts
S. Armstrong, Caring for Carers, Geneva, UNAIDS, 2000.
Facing AIDS: The Challenge, The Churches’ Response, WCC, 1997, pp.77-92.
Facing AIDS: Education in the Context of Vulnerability to HIV/AIDS, WCC, 1999.
J. Freedman and G. Combs, Narrative Therapy, London, Norton, 1996.
Investing in Our Future: Psychological Support for Children Affected by HIV/AIDS, Geneva, UNAIDS, 2001.
N. Kiiti et al., Helpers for a Healing Community, Nairobi, MAP International, 1996.
R. Lewis, Bereavement Counseling Course, Sandton, Centre for Hospice Learning, 1994.
R. Lewis, Preparatory Death Counseling, Sandtown, Centre for Hospice Learning, 1994.
P.W. Robinson, Choosing Hope: Curriculum Modules for Theological and Pastoral Response to the HIV/AIDS Epidemic, Nairobi, MAP International, 1996.
R. Sims and V.A. Moss, Terminal Care for People with AIDS, London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1991.
L.Y. Steinitz, To Love My Neighbor, Namibia, Catholic AIDS Action, 1997.
Alta Van Dyk, HIV/AIDS Care and Counseling: A Multidisciplinary Approach, Cape Town, Pearson Education, 2000.

UNIT 5: Programme Development and HIV/AIDS
Committed public leadership is recognized as an effective strategy in the struggle against HIV/AIDS. This unit seeks to equip the learner with the necessary leadership and management skills to spearhead the fight against HIV/AIDS in the church and society. Given that HIV/AIDS often requires intervention programmes for the infected and affected such as orphan day-care centres, home-based care and hospices, this unit gives the learners the capacity to develop church-based community programmes to address HIV/AIDS prevention and care.

At the end of this course, the learner should have:
– acquired leadership and management skills in community mobilization and resource development;
– developed skills in programme planning, development, implementation and evaluation;
– developed training skills for maximum multiplier effect.

Leadership skills
– defining leadership and management
– styles and types of leadership
– gender, youth, class and PLWHA in leadership
– cultural and biblical perspectives and impact
– HIV/AIDS challenges and leadership skills

Management skills
– management principles
– strategic planning
– accountability and transparency
– gender, youth, class and PLWHA in management
– biblical and cultural perspectives on management
– HIV/AIDS challenges and management

Community mobilization skills
– setting up focal persons and HIV/AIDS committees
– setting up social support groups
– training the community and families for home-based care
– mobilizing and training church members for involvement
– networking with other churches, NGOs and government

Project management
– defining and planning the project
– planning for the HIV/AIDS stigma
– mainstreaming gender and PLWHA
– implementing the plan
– monitoring and evaluating the project
– writing a report

Mobilizing resources
– needs assessment techniques
– writing a project proposal
– donor management
– networking

Training of trainers in mainstreaming HIV/AIDS
– HIV/AIDS impact awareness workshop for institutional leaders and staff
– mobilizing leadership for policy change
– resources and planning for training of trainers
– workshop for imparting methods and skill of integration
– mainstreaming HIV/AIDS into the curriculum and churches
– monitoring and evaluation

Course project: writing a project proposal
– theoretical perspectives
– designing a specific project on the church and HIV/AIDS

The unit will be taught through reading materials, field-work and library research, class presentations and discussions, handouts, videotapes, lecturing and guest lecturers.
Instructional material
Textbooks, videotapes, blackboard and handouts.

Student assessment
Learners can write a project analysis, demonstrating adequate skills of needs assessment, leadership and management.

Required/recommended texts
Facing AIDS: The Challenge, the Churches’ Response, WCC, 1997, pp.93-95.
Marion E. Haynes, Project Management, Menlo Park, South Africa, Crisp, 1996.
N. Kiiti et al., AIDS in Your Community, Nairobi, MAP International, 1994.
G. Kinoti, Hope for Africa and What Christians Can Do, Nairobi, AISRED, 1994.
WCC, Special Report on the Integration of HIV/AIDS in the Curriculum, Gaborone, Botswana Christian Council, 2001.

Methods of teaching, assessment and evaluation
The recommended methods of teaching are:
– class lectures;
– information technology based research.

Assessment of learners
The following methods are recommended:
– institutions to decide on marking and grading;
– continuous assessment;
– term papers/test and final examination;
– class presentations;
– observation;
– research projects and reports;
– learner self-assessment.

Assessment of lecturers
The following methods are recommended:
– institutions to use their own assessment methods;
– course planning;
– qualification;
– peer assessment;
– attitude and commitment;
– capacity and ability to deliver;
– presentation and follow-up;
– credibility.

Evaluation of the course
The following areas can be evaluated:
– content;
– scope;
– depth;
– suitability;
– level of difficulty;
– duration;
– qualifications required;
– comparison with similar courses elsewhere;
– qualification attained;
– staff requirements;
– administration details;
– mode of teaching;
– relevance and adaptability;
– mode of integration within the overall curriculum;
– level of sensitization and influence.

Human resources
The institution could use:
– available academic staff;
– visiting resource persons (e.g. medical personnel, social workers, community leaders, counsellors, pastors, PLWHA, women and youth activists, economists and social workers);
– human resource development (recruiting and training of personnel).

Financial resources
– institutions should consider the financial implications of this curriculum and make the necessary budgetary provisions.

Material resources
– library books;
– textbooks;
– institutional manuals and curricula;
– audiovisual facilities;
– information technology.

Physical facilities
– lecture rooms;
– counselling rooms;
– library;
– offices.

“The Lord answered me and said,
‘write the vision, make it For there is still time for the appointed.’”
(Hab. 2:2-3)

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