HEARD Disability Project
With the release of the UNAIDS policy brief on HIV and AIDS and disability a long overlooked issue was given international attention: the interrelationship of disability and HIV. Since then it is clear that people with disabilities are a group at increased risk of exposure to HIV. Disability inclusive HIV prevalence studies support this claim and many writings have argued that people with disabilities are exposed to all known HIV risk factors such as sexual abuse, changing sexual partners, poverty, lack of education and access to HIV information, lack of access to health in particular reproductive health and so on. However, very little is known about effective responses.
On the other side of this interrelationship stands the fact that with the arrival of ART in resource poor settings people survive however many of them develop HIV-related disabilities. This changes the HIV epidemic in Africa from a deadly to a chronic illness - however with new challenges of disability and rehabilitation. While resource rich settings have developed an understanding of this relationship, this is still an issue that is little explored and understood in Africa and consequently Health Systems have not responded to this issue.
As an HIV and AIDS research organisation, HEARD is committed to contributing to this field by playing a leading role in advocacy and collaborating in empirical research on the topic in southern Africa. The HEARD Disability Initiative objectives are to advance research and practical interventions in the field of HIV and AIDS and disability in eastern and southern Africa, and to build a vibrant network of collaboration. It aims to inform government stakeholders, donors, scholars, people with disabilities and disabled people organisations (DPO) and to provide a platform for the exchange of information. This site has been built as a resource centre on disability and HIV. It features updated information about projects, international events and literature. Resources around human rights and a best practices collection can also be found.
HEARD Disability and HIV resource centre features the following:
- HEARDs advocacy and research projects
- Common theories around disability
- Registration on the network to be kept up to date via HEARD Disability News
- Resources centre around human rights and best practices
- Library on disability and HIV
- Important international events including disability and HIV issues.