Policy and Strategy

The HIV and AIDS pandemic is the worst health crisis in recorded history. Further, it has clearly moved beyond being primarily a health and psycho-social issue to an economic and developmental crisis. Over 65 million people have been infected with HIV to date and AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since it was first recognized in 1981. HIV/AIDS, not only threatens the lives of individuals, but also has a significant impact on the functioning of the labour market and the national economy as a whole. The estimated point-prevalence of HIV infections among adult population (aged 15 to 49 years) in Ethiopia was 2.3% in 2009. This prevalence rate categorizes Ethiopia as a country with a “generalized epidemic”; however, recent studies and evidences show that there are regional and subgroups disparities that are deriving continued transmissions and new case acquisitions. In many regions of the world, new infections of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections are heavily concentrated among young people (15-24 years of age). Recent data from many developing countries indicate that about 50 percent of all new infections are among youths in which young female are disproportionately affected due to sexual harassment/violence, gender stereotypes, harmful traditional practices, gender disparities and other socio- cultural factors.

Communities of higher education institutions are among populations groups, most vulnerable to HIV infections by virtue of a range of factors such as their age, socio economic, living arrangement etc. It is evident that HEIs, being the critical interface between the labour market and the development of skilled and competent graduates, will not be left untouched by the HIV and AIDS pandemic.

HEIs have dual responsibilities. As employers, they must recognize the potential impact of HIV and AIDS on their own communities to design policies and programmes for prevention/reduction of infection rate and to mitigate its impact. As institutions of higher education, they should play a leading role in responses to HIV
and AIDS pandemic through all aspects of their core business of research, teaching and learning and community services.
This policy framework has been formulated to direct HIV and AIDS responses in higher education institutions in Ethiopia. It is designed by incorporating the findings of local and international literatures and adapting ‘good practice’ with regards to a more holistic wellness approach from both the public and private institutions. The focus of this Policy Framework is to establish or strengthen comprehensive HIV prevention, treatment, care and support programmes for the HEIs and their surrounding communities. Furthermore, it could serve as a guide for institutions to review their existing institutional policies and programs on HIV and AIDS and/or develop new policies.
This Policy Framework is formulated in accordance with the National HIV/AIDS Policy (1998), the Education Sector Policy and Strategy on HIV AIDS in Ethiopia (2009), National Strategic Plan (2008-2014), local best practices from the Ethiopian HEIs Policies (Ethiopian Civil Service College, Bahir Dar, Haramaya, Hawassa
and Jimma Universities), the memorandum of understanding (MoU) of sub-forum of HEIs in Ethiopia, legal instruments such as the Ethiopian Constitution, Proclamation of Civil Service Agency (NO.515/2007), fine-tuned with existing international conventions, and selected foreign Universities (South Africa, Kenya and Namibia),
and international agencies (African Universities Association (AUA), United Nations Educational, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and International Labor Organization (ILO).

Download the full document here