HIV report: Building on existing portfolios

23 April 2012

HIV report: Building on existing portfoliosThe university continues to produce important research on HIV and AIDS across all disciplines, as well as socially responsive initiatives and key HIV/AIDS management strategies. And when it comes to incorporating HIV and AIDS into the formal curriculum, there are many examples to build on.

So said the most recent report produced by UCT's HIV/AIDS Institutional Coordination Unit (HAICU) on HIV/AIDS initiatives at the university, a document HAICU presented to Council in early April.

The report, based on fi ndings from HAICU's annual mapping exercise, is designed as a comprehensive record of the university's response to HIV and AIDS in 2011, and critically assesses the challenges ahead for the university.

In that regard, the university is taking signifi cant strides to sharpen and implement its HIV policies through its HIV/AIDS Policy Implementation Group (HAPI), the report highlighted. Cal Volks, director of HAICU, says that "in addition to a course component in the health sciences and commerce faculties, some interesting developments are emerging from the engineering faculty in addressing HIV and AIDS". Sianne Abrahams, project offi cer at HAICU who works with curriculum programmes, adds that there are innovative opportunities in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment through the professional communication and management courses.

"The approach of an HIV-competent UCT is to move from a theoretical understanding of HIV as a personal issue to practical engagement with the management of HIV/AIDS as a workplace health issue," notes Abrahams.

During the year, HAICU aims to fi nd the space within existing curricula to expand upon students' existing HIV knowledge, she adds.

"The intention is to equip graduates with leadership skills that recognise and respond to social challenges competently."

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