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Web Forum: Treatment, care and support for HIV and AIDS in Higher Education Institutions

Web Forum: Treatment, care and support for HIV and AIDS in Higher Education Institutions

The UNAIDS Inter-Agency Task Team (IATT) on Education and the UNESCO HIV and AIDS Education Clearinghouse are organizing an e-forum on “Higher Education Institutions Operating as Centres for HIV treatment, care, and support” from 4 to 15 October 2010.

The Forum encourages the exchange of views and experiences on the engagement of higher education institutions in the response to HIV and AIDS, including treatment, care, and support. It views this approach as a necessary component in a comprehensive education sector response to HIV and AIDS.

The outcome of the Forum will feed into the deliberations of the IATT on Education. A report that synthesizes the contributions of the Forum participants will be available more widely on the UNESCO HIV and AIDS Education Clearinghouse. The report will also contain a section on resources, including a list of relevant publications and projects. Participants are encouraged to provide references of their recent publications as well as links to any related projects on this topic.

How to participate in the Forum

The Forum is available online at: http://forum.hivaidsclearinghouse.unesco.org/

The Forum is open to all of those who are interested in education sector responses to HIV and AIDS. It will be held in English. However, contributions in French will also be accepted and translated into English by the Forum organizers.

To register for the Forum go to: http://forum.hivaidsclearinghouse.unesco.org/index.php?action=register

Please note that participants can sign up any time prior to or during the Forum but the Forum will only be active from 4 October 2010.

Additional information will be provided to all registered participants shortly before the Forum goes on live.

Forum Theme and Sub-Topics for Discussion

Around the world, higher education institutions are expected to lead in the discovery and formulation of innovative solutions to societies’ most challenging concerns. From the limited information available about higher education sector responses to HIV and AIDS, we know that: (a) many institutions are producing high quality research, including policy research, which is feeding into national and international responses; b) preventive education and awareness-raising campaigns continue to take place in this sector; and c) many student associations provide vital peer support for those living with HIV and AIDS.

However, the lack of a systematic and comprehensive response in terms of both policy and action has highlighted the following issues:

  • The absence of rigorous assessment of the impact of HIV and AIDS on HEIs;

  • The scarcity of resources for an effective HIV response within HEIs, even for institutions which have an HIV policy or strategy;

  • Continued stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV.

  • A comprehensive response to HIV and AIDS would include prevention, treatment, care and support services for staff and students and – potentially - the surrounding community. Higher education institutions have the capacity to play a significant role in the response to HIV and AIDS, through their capacity to produce quality medical and social science research, their ability to network with important stakeholders including ministries of education and health, national NGOs and international organizations, and their role in training the leaders of tomorrow.

    The following topics will be discussed during the Forum:

    1. Services for HIV treatment, care and support in higher education institutions: current practice, prospects and challenges.

    2. Engaging higher education institutions in a greater response to HIV and AIDS by integrating treatment, care and support services: policy and management implications.

    A full list of sub-topics and discussion questions will be accessible over the course of the E-Forum.

    The Forum will be animated by e-moderators, with daily syntheses of Forum discussions and commentary to guide further discussion on these issues.

    • Source:ED/UNP/HIV
    • 07-10-2010
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