Activities of the Unit

The UNZA HIV and AIDS Response Unit implements activities and aimed to enhance the efforts of the University to mitigate the effects and spread of HIV and AIDS at the institution as well as in contributing towards creating a society free of the epidemic. The following are the key activities of the UNZA HIV and AIDS Response Unit:

  • Policy formulation and implementation – The UNZA HIV and AIDS Response Unit is mandated to implement the interventions of the institution prescribed in its HIV and AIDS policy produced of 2006. The UNZA HIV and AIDS Policy addresses such issues as obligations of the University Council; responsibility of UNZA Central Administration; rights of members of staff; rights of students; responsibilities of members of staff and students; teaching and research; information, education and communication; counseling and supportive care; and community engagement. The University of Zambia HIV and AIDS policy was awarded the 2006 Red Ribbon Award for Best institutional policy in Zambia.  
  • Coordination of HIV and AIDS - the unit has established itself as the coordination office of all HIV and AIDS activities at the University. Specifically, the Unit provides technical backstopping and other forms of support to various groups involved in HIV and AIDS activities at the university campus.
  • HIV/AIDS Education and communication- the objectives of these initiatives are to create awareness on HIV/AIDS and achieve attitude and behaviour change among various stakeholders. The activities have thus involved peer education of students and communities surrounding the university on HIV/AIDS and other related health issues. The Unit has also trained Peer Educators who have been the drivers of the education.  Currently, there are over 200 peer educators that the unit is working with. Out of these, 18 are staff peer educators. Other activities include production and dissemination of IEC materials (posters, brochures, radio programmes) that are appropriate for its various groups – students and staff – covering issues of gender; multiple concurrent partnerships, Anti retroviral treatment; sexual harassment etc.
  • Workplace programmes – through the staff Workmate Association, staff conduct departmental lunch hour discussions.
  • Research Grants & Publications- the Unit sources for research grants and works with UCA and other stakeholders in calling for abstracts on HIV and AIDS elated issues from among both staff and students. The HIV and AIDS Response Unit also awards small grants for a limited number of surveys on HIV and AIDS and related health issues to deserving proposal. For instance, two (2) baseline surveys were commissioned in 2006 on the following topics: Sexual Behaviour; and Sexual Harassment. These surveys were aimed at determining the HIV and AIDS knowledge, attitudes and practices of the students in the various schools of the institution as well as determine existence and levels of sexual harassment exists at UNZA. The results of these activities are disseminated to at workshops attended by various stakeholders and been published.
  • HIV and AIDS Curriculum integration – through advocacy meetings with Schools by category; curriculum development heads to ensure HIV and AIDS is included in all the University curricula.


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