The response of selected Christian denominations in the Durban functional region to HIV/AIDS.
This study investigated selected Christian denominations in the Durban Functional Region's response to HIV/AIDS and the extent of their involvement within the issues of HIV/AIDS. The study also explored how the churches viewed the development of holistic services and hence their involvement with social workers. Seven of the so-called mainline Christian churches participated in the study. Interviews were conducted with the head of each denomination and one other member of clergy from each of the seven denominations. The study was exploratory in nature. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews with the participants being selected utilising purposive and availability sampling. The literature review comprised theological reflection on what the church's role should be as well as literature exploring the necessity for holistic services in the ambit of HIV/AIDS. Some of the findings of this research included the lack of knowledge clergy have around HIV/AIDS, the lack of knowledge some clergy have about their denominational policies regarding HIV/AIDS, and the limited response of some congregations to the pandemic. There is also a sense of negativism amongst some clergy about HIV/AIDS. There is no hope of the promise the Christian faith gives. The recommendations that stemmed from this research are the training of clergy in HIV/AIDS, training of clergy regarding their denomination's policies and offering practical advice on how a church can respond, the need for the dissemination of this information to all role-players so that a holistic service can become a reality, and finally that more extensive research is done into the church and HIV/AIDS.