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This work investigates the role of n'angas(Traditional Healers) in the HIV/AIDS pandemic with reference to the Ndau people of Zimbabwe.
The central question of the work is: Do n'angas cure HIV/AIDS? If not, what is it that they do that they think is curing? The research findings were that much of the claims by some n'angas and their clients are a result of information gap about HIV/AIDS.
HIV/AIDS is not tested by the magico-pharmacology of the traditional Shona society.
The success of n'angas in dealing with HIV/AIDS lies in the anti-retroviral role that traditional herbal medicine plays.
At best, they can cure symptoms of HIV/AIDS with their traditional medicines.
As a result, they can be said to be offering alternative traditional anti-retroviral treatment even without the medical expertise of establishing the CD4 counts.
Payment is not made for curing the AIDS virus, but for treating the opportunistic infections associated with AIDS.
As a matter of fact, patients do not seek AIDS cure, but medical assistance for physically observable complications.
Interestingly, genuine n'angas sometimes do not even require payment, but consider themselves as providing a community service.
Macloud Sipeyiye(b.1975 in Chipinge, Zimbabwe)is a lecturer in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies of the Midlands State University, Zimbabwe.
He teaches Phenomenology of Religion, World Religions and African Traditional Religions.
He holds an MA in Religious Studies and a Grad.
CE from the University of Zimbabwe.
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