UJ hosting 2017 Regional Youth Conference on Sexual Health and Rights

A Southern African conference on youth sexuality and rights will be hosted by the University of Johannesburg (UJ) next year. The Institutional Office for HIV & AIDS (iOHA) at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has been awarded the opportunity to host the 2nd Southern Africa Regional Students and Youth Conference on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SARSYC), in July 2017.

“The Southern Africa region has specific challenges regarding the epidemic, which sometimes get ineffectively addressed in the overall African picture. By being part of the team that specifically focuses on our regional challenges, we have the opportunity to contribute towards a sustainable future for our young people across the region,” says Head of iOHA, Ms Rainny Magcai.

She adds: “It is a huge achievement for iOHA (on behalf of the University and the HIV Committee), to able to share its approach on how to respond to the HIV pandemic, within the national mandate given by the Department of Education to formulate a coordinated response to this.”

Ms Magcai concludes: “The main objective of the SARSYC gathering is to continue providing a platform for young people in Southern Africa tertiary institutions to collectively take action in addressing their Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) issues. The young people will at the same time monitor progress being made in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in Southern Africa.”

IOHA has embarked in projects that have made a remarkable impact on the University. These include UJ World AIDS Day (UJWAD) which took place on the 18th of September 2015, as part of UJ Diversity Week Celebrations, in partnership with the University’s Internationalisation Division.

The UJWAD theme showed solidarity and support towards zero discrimination against people living with HIV; people’s sexual orientation and gender identity; people with disabilities; gender-based violence xenophobia.

The Institutional Office for HIV and AIDS (IOHA) was established in 2006. Its purpose is mainly to focus on student HIV and AIDS programmes at the University of Johannesburg. IOHA has since expanded and has staff members appointed across all UJ campuses.

The University of Johannesburg and IOHA are strategic partners of SARSYC.

The first SARSYC conference took place in Zimbabwe. For more information on the 2017 conference, visit http://www.sarsyc.org/.

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