Ethiopian Church Offers Bizarre AIDS Holy Water 'Cure'
Report: Ethiopian Church Offers Bizarre AIDS Holy Water 'Cure'
Tuesday , April 03, 2007
Thousands of AIDS and HIV patients in Ethiopia
are risking their lives in favor of a
controversial cure offered by an Orthodox church, Sky News reports.
Patients are renouncing their life-sustaining
antiretroviral treatments in order to be doused
with holy water said to cure them of the virus at
the Church of St. Mary, on Mount Entoto, high
above Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa.
"People who come here just after they discover
they are HIV positive, before their bodies are
damaged, are easier to cure," said the church's
priest, Father Geberemedhen. He claims more than
1,000 people have been cured in the last two years.
The church requires those seeking the holy water
cure to stop their antiretroviral treatments
which prevent the virus from taking hold before
stripping down to be doused in groups with the
freezing water. They then get dressed and pray.
But one of Ethiopia's leading doctor's denounced
a practice that would require a patient to forego their medications.
"This is something deep rooted in our culture,
but patients should not discontinue medication
while receiving holy water," Dr. Amone Wodoson
said. "There is no adverse interaction between
the two. It's absolutely wrong. It's really
devastating. If a patient discontinues his
medication abruptly the disease will progress
faster and the patient will die sooner."