The HIV/AIDS, Inclusivity and Change Unit (HAICU) is based in the Transformation Office residing in the Office of the Vice Chancellor. HAICU advocates that HIV needs to be treated as not just a health issue, but as an issue of Transformation (exploring the contextual issues which lead to increased HIV transmission such as unequal gender norms; discrimination against the sexually diverse population; the increased chance of HIV transmission occurring with women involved in gender-based violence; and addressing the needs of people who feel stigmatised).

The vision of HAICU is: A transformed, change-competent UCT community addressing HIV and AIDS in Southern Africa. The mission of HAICU is to coordinate a collaborative response that supports UCT transformation and builds student and staff capacity through curriculum, co-curriculum and social responsiveness initiatives. In line with this, the research-based, broad strategic objectives of HAICU are: Building knowledge and skills; Creating safe social spaces for dialogue; Promoting ownership and responsibility; Building confidence in local strengths, and agency to mobilise these; Building solidarity (“bonding” relationships); and Building partnerships (“bridging” relationships). This is adapted from Catherine Campbell’s theory of an AIDS Competent Community (2005).

The activities of HAICU to achieve these strategic objectives include:

  • HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence and sexuality peer education programme – Agents of Change Education (ACEs) for students
  • Ensuring HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence and sexuality curricula development and implementation
  • Mapping the UCT response to HIV/AIDS, sexuality and gender-based violence
  • Conducting needs assessments and programme monitoring and evaluation
  • Information and referral services
  • Sexuality and inclusivity workshops for staff
  • Developing, reviewing and steering HIV/AIDS and sexuality policy implementation
  • Developing communication campaigns that feed curricula and co-curricular responses and organising HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence and sexuality awareness events at UCT
  • Networking both internally and with other higher education institutions and organisations