In keeping with global, regional and local developments the Centre for the Study of AIDS (CSA) at the University of Pretoria (UP), established in 1999, has re-positioned itself as the Centre for Sexualities, AIDS and Gender (CSA&G).
This is in line with three key imperatives:
- The HIV/AIDS terrain requires invigorated social research which sees sexuality and gender as key to understanding and addressing HIV and AIDS.
- Linked to this, renewed critical scholarship on sexualities and diversities is required in the African academy, given (sometimes new) conservative movements and impulses.
- All institutions, especially those of higher learning, need to engage in a conversation around transformation: HIV provides a useful entry point to this conversation as it has always raised questions of discrimination, difference, diversity and inclusivity.
In light of these imperatives, and building on its expertise and presence at UP, the CSA has renamed itself the Centre for Sexualities, AIDS and Gender (CSA&G) with the vision of “understanding power, exploring diversity, examining difference and imagining inclusivity”.
Using HIV and AIDS as both a lens and a springboard, the CSA&G will explore, at the university and beyond, themes of:
- social and community justice
- institutional and social transformation
- sexual and reproductive health and rights for all
- sexual diversity and sexual citizenship
- the challenges and dynamics of gender, identity, race and class
- personal and social leadership for active citizenship and political accountability
- effective community engagement and the promotion of community wellness.
Possible research areas for 2015 and beyond:
- Exploring human rights implications of emerging models of HIV testing, circumcision and other new technologies
- Exploring the impact of medicalised prevention interventions such as circumcision, pre-exposure prophylaxis and microbicide.
- Exploring the impact of HIV treatments on stigma and adherence.
- Exploring the links between gender, culture and sexuality.
- Researching, understanding and promoting progressive ideas on sexual diversity and sexual citizenship in a sex-positive way
- Researching and intervening on gender-based violence
- Developing new theory around, and promoting debate on, power, difference, diversity, inclusivity and identity.
- Contributing to scholarship and debate on rights related to sexual orientation and gender identity in South Africa and beyond.
- Exploring the role of tertiary institutions in the epidemics.