The Higher Education HIV/AIDS Programme (HEAIDS) is a nationally co-ordinated initiative to develop and strengthen the capacity of South Africa's higher education sector to respond comprehensively to the challenges posed by the HIV/AIDS pandemic and to play a leadership role in the South African HIV/AIDS response.
HEAIDS is an initiative of the Department of Education and is undertaken on behalf of the Department by Higher Education South Africa (HESA), which represents the vice-chancellors of all 23 public higher education institutions.
It is funded by the European Union under the European Programme for Reconstruction and Development in terms of a partnership agreement with the Department.
The programme aims to enable institutions of higher education to address HIV/AIDS through their mandate to:
It does this through primary research on aspects of HIV/AIDS pertinent to the sector and through the development of policy frameworks, national norms and standards, teaching curricula and guides to good practice.
HEAIDS has also allocated limited financial assistance to institutions of higher education to help them upgrade or develop their HIV/AIDS programmes.
Funding available for the current phase of HEAIDS, which runs until May 2009, amounts to €20 million.