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The University of the Western Cape's (UWC) HIV and AIDS Programme was established in 2001 in recognition of the significant impact that the HIV and AIDS epidemic has on the university’s student and staff population.

The HIV and AIDS Programme has developed a model integrated response to the epidemic that incorporates teaching, research, care and support, community outreach, advocacy, prevention and management of the epidemic.

The HIV and AIDS Programme Office, located in the Education Building, has a close working relationship with the university’s Campus Health Centre. It reports directly to the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Brian O'Connell. The programme is involved in a range of different activities. These include capacity building and information workshops for staff and students, acting as a resource centre, free distribution of condoms, provision of free voluntary counselling and testing services, nutritional, medical, psycho-social and spiritual support for students and staff infected and affected by HIV, peer education programmes, and an interactive theatre group. The programme is also involved in a number of innovative curriculum integration projects on campus, has established a volunteer programme that links students to community organisations working in the field of HIV and AIDS as well as exciting and innovative research projects. There is a strong focus on addressing gender power issues and on involving men as partners to curb the spread of the epidemic on campus.

"It is our goal to create a model of a community that is able to prevent infections through new behaviours, to have everyone who may be at risk tested at UWC, to provide support and care to those infected and to ensure that they receive treatment when required. We must also impact on society at large through our research and through the leadership of our staff and students in the community."
- Prof Brian O'Connell, Vice Chancellor, University of the Western Cape