EBE leaders set the tone

18 August 2008

Leading the way: The dean of the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment, Prof Francis Petersen, has his blood sampled by Sister Cheryl Groustra during the faculty's HIV campaign.

The dean of the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment (EBE), Professor Francis Petersen, and his executive team led by example when they took public HIV tests on 12 August at the three-day voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) drive by the Student Wellness Service, held at Jameson Hall last week.

Wearing green EBE T-Shirts with an HIV/AIDS-awareness slogan, the group was accompanied by the members of the faculty's postgraduate and undergraduate councils, something that gives Petersen hope that their own AIDS awareness initiative will be sustainable.

"We go beyond raising awareness to building a component of sustainability by incorporating HIV within our curriculum," revealed Petersen.

The EBE campaign began early in August with communication with staff and students, and culminated with the testing of the faculty's leadership. The faculty will also host a series of seminars on HIV practices over the next few weeks.

The EBE initiative, Petersen says, is an integrated approach to the wellness programme of UCT, leading to World AIDS Day on 1 December.

The HIV/AIDS issue is a key component of health, said Petersen.

"It is about how you change your behaviour to ensure your safety, and that of students and colleagues."

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