Intervention Programs in Public
Health Education: Responding to
HIV in Campus Communities
Richard P. Keeling, M.D., and Eric L. Engstrom
There has been extraordinary and colorful variety in the responses of colleges and universities to the needs created by the epidemic of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease: noble leadership and primordial smallmindedness; heartening compassion and slick indifference; reasonable caution and turbulent recklessness. At any given moment of assessment, both now and in the past, each institution seems to have done something different; schools only minutes apart have strangely divergent histories, policies, and programs related to HIV. The single most notable common feature of this diverse experience has been the progressive influence of informal networks of concerned people in campus communities and subcommunities toward the evolution of humane educational, procedural, social, and clinical services. A gradual incorporation of the wisdom of community experience into official systems has occurred and is, in fact, still occurring on all campuses. The observed patchwork of disparate policies and programs results largely from variations in the speed and intensity of this process: both the great diversity in communities of higher education and the variability and volatility of a spirit of caring and connectedness in those communities have powerfully influenced the character of campus responses to HIV. As campuses have moved from theoretical "experience" with people who have HIV to the practical and human realities of living with HIV, they have drawn repeatedly, if sometimes reluctantly and often unofficially, on the knowing and caring of people at their grass roots. That ten years of evolution in policies, programs, and services related to HIV disease in higher education has enhanced humane efforts to care for people affected by HIV and improved the effectiveness of health promotion programs is largely to the credit of community-organized activities and community based experience
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Publication information: Book title: AIDS Prevention and Services:Community Based Research. Contributors: Johannes P. Van Vugt - Editor. Publisher: Bergin & Garvey. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1994. Page number: 129.
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