World AIDS Day that took place on 1 December brought together people from around the world to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and demonstrate international solidarity in the face of the pandemic. The day puts the spotlight on HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care, but, at the same time, it also serves to highlight the work opportunities and how you can make a difference. As Aids counsellors are active in every sphere of life, across industries and occupations, there are many employment opportunities, says Natalie Rabson of Boston City Campus & Business College. She urges jobseekers with a flair for humanitarian work to consider HIV/Aids counselling as a possible career. HIV/Aids counsellors operate as permanent employees in large corporates or as external consultants to disseminate the correct information about the disease and its treatment, and provide much needed support to those infected and affected.
"A plethora of organisations make use of qualified aids counsellors to deal with the emotional and practical issues related to the disease," she says. "There are career opportunities especially within companies that have large workforces. However, there are also entrepreneurial opportunities for those who wish to offer their aids expertise on a consulting basis to organisations such as government agencies, non-governmental organisations and humanitarian and research bodies." To tap into work opportunities in the field of aids counselling, it is essential to get a recognised qualification. Boston City Campus & Business College offers the HIV/Aids Counselling & Management certificate both as a part- or full-time study programme. The one-year programme has been developed by a multi-disciplinary team of experts, including respected medical practitioners working in the field of HIV/AIDS, clinical and counselling psychologists, counsellors, HIV/AIDS educationalists as well as sexologists and other relevant role players and stakeholders. The programme is holistic in its approach, focusing on topics that include conventional prevention, care and support, and community networking and policy development. The course is not only accredited by the Council on Higher education (CHE) but is also supported by the Health Department as well as endorsed by the South African Society of Sexuality Educators. Boston updates the course on a regular basis to accommodate the latest developments in the field. The course includes the following seven compulsory modules that can be done via correspondence or by attending classes:
Nutrition and HIV/Aids
HIV/Aids counselling and management
Care and support for the infected and affected
Developing a workplace policy and training programme
The blended learning methodology and modular set-up of the certificate allows learners to register for this qualification anytime throughout the year. Furthermore, anyone with matric may register for the Certificate HIV/Aids Counselling & Management. It is highly recommended for anyone wishing to add value in this field, from matriculants to nurses, doctors, social workers, emergency workers, health and safety professionals, teachers, and HR staff. Another big plus, Rabson points out, is that the certificate helps open the doors to degree tertiary study. If you have a matric certificate without university entrance, you can do the Certificate in HIV/AIDS Counselling & Management, NQF Level 5, SAQA ID 35998, 140 Credits from Boston City Campus & Business. Once you have completed the certificate successfully, you can apply for admission to a degree at Unisa. "This is great news for those who think they must give up on their dreams of doing a degree because of their matric certificate," she explains. "You simply need to complete the HIV/Aids certificate and then enrol at Unisa for the degree of your choice. And because of the modular system learners can, if they have the time, fast track the completion of the certificate to get mid-year access to Unisa." Rabson believes the certificate is likely to make you employable because many companies and organisations need help in implementing and/or developing their HIV/Aids policies. "Until 2015, World AIDS Days will have the theme of "Getting to zero: zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related deaths"," she elaborates. "This focus on "Zero AIDS related deaths" signifies a push towards greater access to treatment for all - something that private and public sectors across the globe have committed to."
For more information contact Boston on 011 551-2000, e-mail , visit www.boston.co.za, or catch up with Boston students on the Boston Facebook group/page. Boston City Campus & Business College offers over 80 dynamic career qualifications over 40 branches nationwide. Unisa degrees and media studies are also available at selected branches.
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