New York Times Profiles South African Preacher Who Claims To Treat HIV/AIDS with Prayer
The New York Times on Saturday profiled Rev. Solomon Mahlangu, who claims to have "cured dozens" of people with HIV/AIDS "with the power of prayer." He has developed a loyal following in Hlabisa, South Africa, where 35% of the population is HIV-positive. The Times reports that in areas where clinics face shortages of the "most basic" HIV/AIDS medications, it is "easier to believe in a miracle worker than in the possibility that the government might provide" medicine to combat the disease. However, Mahlangu is a controversial figure, according to the Times. Ellen Dube, an AIDS counselor at Hlabisa Hospital, disagrees with Mahlangu's practices, calling him a "charlatan" who is using the epidemic to make money. Still, his followers continue to support him. Rose Zungu, whose husband is HIV-positive, said Mahlangu is "bringing miracles; he's saving the community." Mahlangu "dismisses his critics," saying that he offers HIV-positive individuals "something the naysayers cannot: Hope," the Times reports. The full article is available online (Swarns, New York Times, 8/10).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.