National conference of high interest

The HEAIDS national conference of institutional HIV/AIDS programmes, "Applying the Research/Researching the Applied", held at theUniversity of Cape Town on 28-30 November, generated huge interest with some 250 delegates registering and over 100 abstracts submitted for programme consideration.

Overwhelmed by the number of quality abstracts submitted, the conference programme had to be extended to include an additional slot.

"HEIs have developed a wealth of initiatives in response to HIV and AIDS from which best practices may be mined to share across the sector," Dr Ramneek Ahluwalia the Head of HEAIDS said.

"This conference aims to be of practical benefit to programmes at individual institutions and help build the sector's response as a whole," he said.

The theme of the conference, "Applying the Research / Researching the Applied", recognises the need for better and continuously informed interventions that run deep and are strategically focussed for an effective, meaningful response.

The conference programme, with a rich selection of oral and poster presentations, was driven by case experience reflection on key fronts of the Higher Education response:

prevention projects HIV as an issue of transformation and diversity integrating HIV and AIDS into core curricula models of Workplace Programmes behaviour change communication

Graced with keynote addresses by an array of higher education, government and non-governmental personalities, the conference presented a solid front in the counter to HIV of which the Higher Education sector is an integral constituent.