Varsities in study of HIV incidence

An HIV prevalence study is currently under way in tertiary institutions across the country.

An HIV prevalence study is currently under way in tertiary institutions across the country.

The surveys involving 25000 students and staff members are aimed at understanding perceptions, attitudes and behaviour patterns related to HIV-Aids in universities.

The study has been commissioned by the Higher Education HIV-Aids programme (HEAIDS). Millions of rands will be spent on a definitive study on the prevalence of HIV-Aids in public institutions.

HEAIDS director Shaida Asmal said the study was prompted by the need to deal proactively with the risk posed by HIV-Aids to the higher education sector.

"We don't know if students at universities fit the HIV profile of young people," Asmal said. "The study will give us an idea of what the country is dealing with."

The survey started at the Rhodes, Stellenbosch and Zululand universities this month, and will continue until next May. - Zinhle Mapumulo

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