Shaping social literacy through HIV in higher education curricula

23 Nov 2016

This article outlines a case for curriculum transformation in respect of HIV education, spearheaded in part by policy debates in the South African Higher Education sector, as well as by the broader social movement led by students. The authors propose that beyond statistical projections related to HIV prevalence, Higher Education institutions are duty-bound and responsible to implement knowledge projects that include curriculum reform relevant to HIV education as part of ongoing transformation initiatives. The article motivates that one approach to achieving a transformed, socially just and equitable society is through an integrated and pedagogically rigorous HIV education that will endow graduates with sound attributes to embrace the global world. In order to achieve this, the authors propose intersectionality as a conceptual model to rethink and reimagine HIV education that recognises, for example, a number of interrelated factors focusing on difference, critical diversity literacy, sexuality, masculinity and gender. The article illustrates the relevance of intersectionality to close the gap in what would otherwise be a fragmented, insular and exclusive HIV education. The authors show that an intersectional approach to HIV education will stimulate a number of beneficial effects to enhance empathy, compassion and improved human relations.