Ethiopians Use Holy Water To Fight AIDS?


In a country with such poverty, wars and famine over 1.2 million people live with HIV/AIDS, among the most of any country. The country’s traditional and often superstitious views toward AIDS commonly lead to exile for the disease’s sufferers.  Then misconceptions about how AIDS spreads fostered discrimination against HIV-positive people.

The people look for any source of inspiration or hope including promises of healing from the power of holy water. 

The story tells example of Ethiopian people descended a steep ravine and lined up naked at a natural pool. Priests clutching crosses would pour water six times over the people, who usually also drink about a gallon of the water each day as a tonic.Ethiopian church’s stance on medication remained unclear, and many patients priests’ warnings that to take drugs was to spurn God.

Its sad to read stories about misinformation in other countries but there is hope.  With Global HIV Education & Medicines are slowly reaching parts of the country and making a difference. One individual  stated, “I still believe in the powers of the water, but because this is helping me, I feel it’s more powerful.”

Tom Thayer


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