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"Don’t ever think that living with HIV is a punishment from God" -Clement Ntuli

By Faeza
23 February 2017

By Clement Fana Ntuli

AMONG many challenges that people living with HIV battle with is being judged and told they are cursed or being punished by God. This makes them feel horrible about themselves, especially if they think that God, who ought to shelter them, is responsible for their condition. In addition they feel stigmatised not only by people, but by God in heaven.

BEING JUDGED

One of the reasons people judge those who are living with HIV is that the disease is related to sex. Living with HIV is often associated with sexual immorality and promiscuity. Initially, HIV was associated with people belonging to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community and they were judged harshly for living with the virus. People launched attacks on those with a different sexual preferenceand orientation than themselves.

GOD STILL LOVES YOU

Chronic conditions were there in Biblical times. In 2 Kings 5, Namaan, a warrior and commander of the army of God, had leprosy. Didn’t God use four people with leprosy to drive away an army attacking the children of Israel? Then there is Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12, who was struggling with a physical ailment or thorn in the flesh. I don’t want to remind you about Job, who developed numerous sores all over his body. In the

book of Job, we learn that Job was protected by God and had strong faith. Remember Apostle Paul had an anointing of healing people in such a way that even his cloth was used to heal in his absence. He, being such an anointed by God, couldn’t get God to heal his sickness, but rather taught him humility and showed him more revelations.

STEALING PEOPLE'S HOPE

If you say that HIV is a judgement from God, then you are used by the devil to steal hope and cloud people from the love of God. What are you saying about those children who were born with HIV? To that faithful woman who got it from her husband who was sleeping around? To that nurse who got a needle prick while helping a patient? To that elderly woman who contracted HIV while caring for her sick child? Irrespective of having HIV, cancer or any other chronic condition, God loves you and is not using the condition to punish you. The promise that He gave to Jeremiah not to harm us but intending to prosper us still applies to you.

DISCRIMINATION

It is easy to judge people. If you are not having challenges that they are facing, you eliminate objectivity and allow discrimination to rule. I am Christian, read the Bible, and I know that such distortion of the word exists. We tend to use the Bible to judge, which is wrong. It is there to give hope and resurrect faith.