n Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems - Traditional medicine invigorated : an expanded response to HIV and Aids in South Africa

Volume 14, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1683-0296



The aim of this article is to shed light on patterns of, and major motives for the utilisation of traditional medicine to fight the spread of HIV and AIDS in South Africa. This study was conducted in Soshanguve township in Gauteng. A qualitative approach was adopted by conducting focus group interviews with fifty-seven traditional healers. Data was analysed using axial coding and open coding, where dominant themes from the discussions were identified and discussed in detail. The findings depict that traditional healing is a deep-seated practice. In addition, the study established that the foremost motives for choosing traditional healers over biomedical practitioners were affordability of the services rendered by traditional healers and the efficacy and safety of traditional medicines. It is worth noting that the African continent, as the worst-ravaged region in terms of HIV and AIDS and the poorest in terms of modern health care resources, is an obvious site for collaboration between traditional healers and biomedical health care providers.

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