Harmful cultural practices have been known to spread HIV in different areas of life, but the church has also been affected.
Ministerâ€™s or chiefâ€™s pillow a practice in which a visiting chief, church minister (Reverend) pastor or any other visiting dignity is accorded with a beautiful woman or a girl to entertain him sexually all night long has been practised by members in the Christian churches. This has led to the spread of HIV among ministers.
Retired CCAP reverend Saul Chitsulo said he was a living example of such circumstances when he was serving at Chiuta in Machinga East.
“In one of my visitations at one of the churches there, the congregation I went for a session I was accorded a lady to entertain me throughout the night but I refused and changed the house where the woman was told to look after me,” said Chitsulo.
He, however, said the chiefâ€™s or ministerâ€™s pillow syndrome has left many ministers with the virus especially those who cannot hold themselves from such malpractices.
He noted the idea was derived from a wrong concept of very dedicated women from Romans 16 verses 1-27.
Chitsulo, who retired in 2002 after actively serving the church, said he has been counselling many ministersâ€™ to be honest with their spouses as sleeping with other women is like killing your spouse.
“The Bible says thou shall not kill and you have contracted Aids, killing your partner contradicting Godâ€™s commandment, who do you cheat?
“My advice has been one must have sense of self control. What is lacking in your wife that you can go for another woman?” questioned Chitsulo.
He then urged church leaders to take HIV and Aids awareness messages seriously.