Mission & Vision

Introduction to HEAIDS' mission from Director Dr Ramneek Ahluwalia:

"The key focus of the HEAIDS Programme is to ensure that youth and young people passing through our sector within all our 400 campuses countrywide, are healthy and competent to take their rightful place in contributing to the economic growth of our country. The HEAIDS Programme components has assisted in increasing life expectancy both in terms of economic and healthy living for hundreds and thousands of poor and vulnerable young people in this country, who are now accessing proper care and support in terms of treatment, psychological and social well being, with the support of HEAIDS' partners. It has been proven through medical science that early detection and treatment can now prolong life expectancy by more than 30 years of healthy living for people infected with HIV or any other health aliment. This eventually provides a return on investment of our contribution in increasing life expectancy of our young people that eventually contribute towards the economy of their own families, our sector and nation in total."

HEAIDS Mission & Vision

HEAIDS is a non-profit company under the leadership of the Department of Higher Education and Training. HEAIDS works in partnership with Universities South Africa (USAf) and the South African College Principals Organisation (SACPO).

1. Aims and objectives include:

  • Developing HIV/TB/STIs/SRH prevention programmes for students and staff of post school education and training system and support the development of institutional capacities and facilities for the treatment, care and support of students and staff living with HIV//TB/STIs/SRH and/or suffering from some other related disease or condition falling within the broad sphere of public health.
  • Educating and equipping students in the post school education and training system to make a contribution to the national HIV//TB/STIs/SRH response, as well as that related to other related diseases and health conditions identified from time to time, in their future career fields.
  • Conducting research and investigative studies that will, through its emphasis on the post school education and training system, strengthen society’s ability to resist and ultimately overcome the HIV//TB/STIs/SRH pandemic as well as successfully overcome the other public health related conditions as identified from time to time.
  • Assisting the post school education and training system in providing HIV//TB/STIs/SRH services, as well as services related to other conditions in the field of public health, to communities related to these institutions, through outreach projects and practical training programmes.

2. HEAIDS Programmes

First Things First (FTF) is HEAIDS flagship programme that provides HIV/TB and STI testing and screening services through mobile clinics that are accessible to universities and colleges on a regular basis. First Things First also allows for provision of general health and wellness services, including non-communicable diseases. To mobilise students to get to know their status and provide platforms for dialogues, peer educators are trained across the country. Free scented condoms are provided by the National Department of Health.

The women health and men health programmes further support the objectives of First Things First through the provision of cancer screenings and voluntary medical male circumcision, as well as women’s and men’s empowerment programmes.

HEAIDS Curriculum development programme aims at capacitating academic staff across disciplines to appropriately integrate and address HIV/AIDS and it’s intersectionalties in curricular at universities and TVET colleges. Since 2018 HEAIDS focuses on the training of Life Orientation lecturers in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender diversity and disability.

The innovative Future Beats project is HEAIDS renowned behaviour change communication programme that capacitates young radio journalists in addressing HIV and social drivers of the pandemic through radio and social media. The programme currently reaches 670,000 young radio listeners in six provinces of South Africa.

Furthermore, HEAIDS MSM and LGBTI programme promotes an enabling environment and access to appropriate HIV treatment, care and prevention services for Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersexed (LGBTI) persons.

HEAIDS Alcohol and drug abuse prevention programme provides a primary prevention response to substance abuse as an HIV risk factor. It involves risk screenings and brief interventions using digital media, health clinics, trained professionals and lay counsellors.