Communal HIV Testing Campaign

Each year, Honours and Masters students from the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics are engaged in an elective on Church and HIV and AIDS. In addition to the coursework, field visits are arranged the students are also expected to organise a Communal HIV testing campaign on the lawns outside the building housing the School. In collaboration with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health, the students conduct the testing campaign over three days. In 2011 almost 400 students and staff from across the University voluntarily tested during the campaign. Follow-up and support is offered by the Student Counselling Clinic and the Student Health Clinic and educational material is made available.

Students within the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics are encouraged to publicly declare that they had been tested by writing their names on a notice board, and thereby encouraging others to take an HIV test. The campaign enables discussion about the importance of testing and so helps to break the silence around speaking openly about the epidemic.