Magazine article The Christian Century

Samson Mulinge Mutuse (above Right) Lost His Wife to AIDS in 2013 and His 13-Year-Old Daughter the Next Year

Magazine article The Christian Century

Samson Mulinge Mutuse (above Right) Lost His Wife to AIDS in 2013 and His 13-Year-Old Daughter the Next Year

Article excerpt

Caption: Samson Mulinge Mutuse (above right) lost his wife to AIDS in 2013 and his 13-year-old daughter the next year. After he tested positive for HIV, congregants who learned about his status tried to push him out of the church he helped found, and someone tried to burn his church and home.

"I realized I was being abandoned by my flock and other church officials," the pastor said. "They did not even help me bury my daughter."

After his recent marriage to Evelyn Mueni Mulinge (above left), a primary schoolteacher whose first husband died of AIDS in 2006, the couple is speaking out about showing compassion to those who have HIV or AIDS and about stopping the virus from spreading.

AIDS has wreaked havoc in Nthange, Kenya, where Mutuse, 42, leads Deliverance Church, a Pentecostal congregation. In 2016, nearly 20 million people were living with HIV in eastern and southern Africa, representing the vast majority of people carrying the virus worldwide, according to the United Nations.

In Nthange people whisper about the virus in coffee and tea shops and under the giant baobab trees.

"People with HIV are isolated and neglected," Mueni said. "They are also ostracized in the church and the community."

Many were shocked that Mueni, 39, who is HIV-negative, would marry a man who had the virus.

"They can't imagine this has happened," Mutuse said. "It is a community still full of stigma and discrimination."

Mueni said her faith convinced her that she should marry Mutuse, who started antiretroviral drugs in 2014, she said: "I was already aware of his status. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.