Document Type


Publication Date

January 2015


Recent scholarship has conceptually reframed HIV-related stigma as a social ratherthan individual process that perpetuates and sustains relations of power that devaluespersons living with HIV (PLHIV). If HIV-stigma is perpetuated by social relationshipsthat are embedded in socio-economic and political structures that insidiouslyexclude PLHIV, and less by ‘spoiled’ individual identity, how does the widely referenceddoctrine of the imago Dei inform efforts to mitigate structural forms of HIV-stigma?This paper examines Jürgen Moltmann’s trinitarian model of the imago Dei which suggeststhat humanity bears the image of the mutually supporting persons of the Trinity.A relationship that is characterized by radical equality that fosters participation in allfacets of suffering—an impetus set by the hope established by Christ’s resurrection. Itis this divine imago that incites the church to deliberately contradict identities that arespoiled by HIV with one that is of dignity and hope.