Sexually Transmitted Infections Vol. 87: P. 611-615 (12..11) -
"The aim of this intervention research study was to engage
senior leaders of faith-based organizations (FBOs) in Malawi
in a participatory process to construct an interfaith theology
of HIV/AIDS," the authors wrote. The process was created to
enhance faith community leaders' capacity to respond more
effectively to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
An evidence-driven combination of ethnographic and
participatory action research methodologies was employed.
During the four-year project, conceptual events - "innovative
participatory action research processes" - were held, bringing
together health service providers, policy makers, and a non-
governmental organization in partnership with FBOs and
grassroots faith-based communities.
An interfaith theology of HIV/AIDS emerged from the
facilitated dialogue. This resulted in "the proposition that a
'spiritualized condom' endorses a 'theology of protecting
life,'" the authors wrote. The following convictions supported
*Life is sacred and should be protected.
*Killing or murder is a "greater sin" compared to the "lesser
sin of infidelity."
*Protecting the innocent is a moral and religious requirement.
*Condoms potentially can prevent the death of an innocent
*Condom use should be encouraged, even in the context of
"Clinicians, non-governmental organizations, health service
providers, and policy makers, assisted by health social
scientists, can successfully partner with FBOs and their
leaders to 1) modify and transform faith-based understandings
of HIV risk and 2) bring about attitudinal behavior changes
that help to address the challenges association with
HIV/AIDS," the researchers concluded.