About us

Academic programmes to address the HIV/AIDS problem

Towards the end of 2000, South Africa's presidency challenged Stellenbosch University to develop a programme that takes HIV training and capacity building to the managers and labour leaders of the workforce. The rationale behind the challenge was that, regardless of what is done in the community, prevention and care had to be extended to the workplace in order to make a dent in the epidemic. This led to the development of the Postgraduate Diploma in HIV/AIDS Management (PGDip), first presented in 2001 under the auspices of the Department of Industrial Psychology. To date, 3700 students have successfully completed the PGDip.

As a direct result of the success of the PGDip, the Africa Centre for HIV/AIDS Management was established in January 2003, functioning as a fully-fledged unit for education, research and community service related to HIV/AIDS management in the workplace. In that same year, a Masters programme (MPhil) was introduced which builds and expands on the HIV-related skills of students who have completed the PGDip. To date, 482 students have successfully completed the MPhil.

The Centre recently launched a Doctoral programme (PhD) in 2020, with its first graduates expected within the next 3-4 years.

Goals and Purposes

The Africa Centre believes academic institutions must play a creative and active role in nourishing social, political and economic transformation. We structure this role on three pillars: academic programmes, research and community engagement. Considering these pillars, the Africa Centre aims to:

  • Build knowledge and infrastructure in order to maintain the highest possible standards in the education, research, and service rendering on HIV/AIDS in the workplace by offering postgraduate educational programmes on the management of HIV/AIDS in the workplace (which can be also offered in collaboration with other institutions and with the support of external funding),
  • Conduct research with respect to HIV/AIDS in the workplace, as well as publish the results in peer-reviewed journals,
  • Develop and implement community projects relating to the management of HIV/AIDS in the workplace,
  • Make available knowledge and expertise in the area of HIV/AIDS in the workplace to interested people and organisations, and
  • Control and manage external funds earmarked for the Centre to improve its teaching, research and service-rendering capabilities

Apart from the dedicated permanent staff, the Centre collaborates with specialists in various sectors, from both inside and outside Stellenbosch University. Every person involved with the work of the Africa Centre has a true passion for being proactive about HIV/AIDS and bringing hope to a nation severely affected by the disease.

Our Valued Partners

UNAIDS, the joint United Nations programme on HIV/AIDS, brings together the efforts and resources of ten UN system organisations to the global AIDS response. UNAIDS is committed to strengthening support to community-led and people centred responses. The UNAIDS commissioned the Africa Centre for HIV/AIDS Management (Stellenbosch University) to undertake a study which aims to generate empirical evidence for the role of people-centred and community-led HIV-related service delivery in the context of Universal Health care coverage debate. The study is also looking at the impact of people-centred and community-led HIV service delivery organisations in covid-19 and broader health, social inclusion service delivery in East and Southern Africa.

The core function and responsibility of the Western Cape Department of Health is to deliver a comprehensive package of health services to the people of the province. The Centre and the Western Cape Department of Health in the Cape Winelands District have collaborated to develop and distribute a diabetes photo novel among healthcare workers who treat recently diagnosed diabetes patients or those seriously at risk to help them manage their diagnosis or help prevent developing the disease. Feedback on its effectiveness will be documented by healthcare workers and communicated to the Centre.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is a United Nations agency whose mandate is to advance social and economic justice through setting international labour standards. The Centre and the ILO are currently conducting a study on the effectiveness and relevance of HIV and AIDS, TB and Covid-19 legislation, workplace policies and programmes in the context of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) and UNAIDS FastTrack goals. The study is being conducted across different sectors/industries and focusing on leading organizations in these sectors.

Community Collaborative Partnerships for Social Impact

Umoja for Africa is a not-for-profit organisation focused on skills development and sharing between disadvantaged refugee and migrant communities and South African citizens for social cohesion purposes. Umoja has trained women activists from other community-based organisations to sew re-usable face masks. At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in Cape Town they sewed more than 15,000 of these face masks to donate to families in need.

The Movement for Change and Social Justice (MCSJ) is a not-for-profit, non-partisan, and non-religious alliance of organisations aimed at improving the health and lives of people in Gugulethu and surrounding areas. They work in Klipfontein, which includes Gugulethu, New Crossroads, Nyanga, Manenberg, KTC, Philippi and Heideveld in Cape Town.

The Activist Education and Development Centre (AEDC), aims to support community-based activists in the Western and Eastern Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. The organisation mainly supports women living with HIV and supports grassroots adolescent girls in movement building around gender equality in the Western Cape.

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