PARTNERS IN CRIME: PENTECOSTALISM AND BOTSWANA HIV/AIDS POLICY ON CROSS-BORDER MIGRANTS

  • Rosinah Gabaitse

Abstract

In this paper I seek to interrogate how the theology of some Pentecostal churches, especially the theology that God heals HIV and AIDS, interacts with the situation of cross-border migrants in Botswana. I also seek to discuss the Botswana HIV policy which denies HIV-positive cross-border migrants access to Anti-Retroviral treatment (henceforth ARVs) which has proven to prolong and improve the quality of life of people living with HIV. Conflict exists between Botswana HIV policy on strict adherence to ARVs and some Pentecostal churches’ insistence that members of their churches living with HIV are healed by God, and therefore they should not take ARVs. While the Pentecostal Church is a ‘home away from home’ for migrants, their theology is in constant conflict and clashes with Botswana HIV health policy, even if the reality is that the same policy denies migrants access to HIV services. It is ironic that both the HIV policy and the Pentecostal theology are in pursuit of preserving life; yet, they both deny cross-border migrants that very life.

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Published
2015-07-14
Section
Articles