Integrating Gender and Gender-based Violence in Medical and Nursing Curricula in Nicaraguan Universities
In Nicaragua, the USAID ASSIST Project supports the application of continuous quality improvement to integrate HIV prevention and treatment topics in the medical and nursing training programs in nine universities. Baseline data clearly revealed strong sentiments of discrimination and stigma towards people living with HIV (PLHIV) and sexual diversity among both students and faculty.
To address this, the project worked with faculty to integrate training on HIV prevention, stigma, discrimination, sexual diversity, and gender-based violence (GBV) in epidemiology and health research classes, drawing on national laws promoting equal rights and non-discrimination. ASSIST hypothesized that by engaging medical and nursing students in discussions around human rights and respect for sexual diversity based on national legal protections, efforts to reduce stigma, discrimination, and GBV would be more effective.
After receiving training and technical assistance, 96 faculty from seven universities have developed capabilities to teach and promote gender equity in the university and detect and respond appropriately to students experiencing GBV. These faculty are now addressing these gender- and HIV-related topics in classes for Nicaragua’s next generation of health care providers, contributing to the national HIV response in new and sustainable ways.