The involvement of the youth leadership in promoting public awareness of HIV/AIDS, and in HIV/AIDS education campaigns : a case study of the University of Durban-Westville.
Ngcobo, Nkosinathi Innocent.
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This study examines the involvement of youth leadership particularly at the University of Durban Westville, in promoting public awareness about HIV/AIDS and in HIV/AIDS awareness initiatives. The aim of the study was to investigate the contributions of the student leaders in initiatives to combat HIV/AIDS. Accordingly, interviews were conducted with leaders of various student organisations at the university. The aim was to test the student leadership's general understanding of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, types of HIV/AIDS programmes and their involvement in them. The study is based on a random sample of 15 of 35 student's clubs and societies and the Student Representative Council at UDW. In addition, five organisations from the university structures were interviewed for the purpose of this study. These included: the Student Counsellor from the Wellness Centre, the Academic Registrar from the University Management, Deputy President of the Combined Staff Association, President of the Academic Staff Association and the Director of the Centre for Educational Research, Evaluation and Policy at University of Durban-Westville. The general finding of the study is that the role of the student leadership and its involvement on HIV/AIDS initiatives has been minimal and unorganised. In response this study presents a number of recommendations to address this problem. The key recommendation revolves around the need for the student leaders and the university management to collectively design a framework from which all HIV/AIDS initiatives will be administered. This includes policy formulation and discussions on AIDS. In the final analysis, it is imperative to note that this study was not done only for the benefit of the UDW community, but other institutions such as the government departments, particularly the Education Department, NGO's, Youth Commission and other youth organisations.