The significance of HIV/AIDS for universities in Africa

Case Studies & Research
18 p.

Almost a quarter of a century on into the AIDS epidemic, many universities have not fully grasped the fact of their HIV/AIDS condition and its implications for their continued effective functioning. In the naïve belief that they were responding to the epidemic they have regarded it as essentially a health problem and a student problem, and hence have concentrated on the traditional services offered on campuses through the campus health clinics and student support services. In several universities, the principal information, education and communication efforts for raising HIV/AIDS awareness still tend to be concentrated in the brief period of orientation at the commencement of an academic year. Where there are other responses to the epidemic, these tend to be piecemeal and uncoordinated. They are often based on an inadequate understanding of the dimensions and nature of the problem. They lack the backing of a suitable policy framework, are not rooted in well-developed action plans, and depend for their survival on the initiative of a few interested and committed members of staff.

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