UCT is to provide an integrated managed health care programme for staff who may be living with HIV/Aids, including treatment with antiretrovirals. The UCT Council recently decided that the programme would be implemented and that it would be available to all staff who are eligible to join the University's medical aid scheme.
In a message to staff, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Martin Hall said that decision had been taken in the wake of an investigation of several months into the feasibility and affordability of such a programme, including the provision of antiretrovirals within an overall organisational health model.
"It is envisaged that the programme will start rolling out within the next few months, after details have been finalised. The proposed programme will offer all essential interventions, including education, support, outreach, voluntary counseling and testing, and treatment. This is over-and-above the support already provided through various options of the University's medical aid."
He said the intention was to provide a comprehensive and compassionate HIV/Aids management programme with envisaged benefits such as:
- a decrease in new infections due to greater awareness;
- increased clarity about prevalence rates and an increase in UCT's ability to manage the impact;
- improvement in staff health;
- improvement in positive and safe patterns of sexual behaviour;
- increase in voluntary testing;
- expanded access to treatment and support.
At the same time, UCT affirmed its ongoing commitment to its existing HIV/Aids programme for students through the HIV/Aids Unit, Student Health Services, and various other structures which make provision for the management of student health.