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About the project

The Concordia HIV/AIDS Project was founded in 1993 and has now grown into the following interrelated programs and initiatives:

HIV/AIDS Community Lecture Series: 
  • Features invited social, scientific, medical, arts and community leaders who provide public lectures in their respective areas of expertise;
  • Approximately 1000 diverse audience members attended 4 lectures in 2014-2015 
Concordia Community HIV/AIDS Courses 
  • Two flagship courses: Onsite “Aspects of the HIV/AIDS Pandemic” & Online “Interdisciplinary Introduction to HIV/AIDS”; 
  • Features Art Exhibition/Symposium showcasing student works in Montreal art gallery, for which sponsorship is available 
HIV/AIDS Community Internships 

Over 20 local HIV/AIDS community organizations place student interns enrolled in HIV/AIDS courses within their organizations for various skills-building opportunities 

Mandate of the Concordia HIV/AIDS Project

  • To maintain a permanent space for interdisciplinary dialogue and research on HIV/AIDS for the region;
  • To address the diverse Concordia University community and the general Montreal public through our university forum;
  • To challenge the academy to confront the societal crisis engendered by HIV/AIDS and to expand its educational mission;
  • To develop awareness of social, scientific and cultural aspects of the Pandemic, through community education, internal dialogue in the academy, social criticism and the encouragement of volunteering and activism;
  • To nurture the next generation of HIV/AIDS researchers, activists, and teachers within today’s student population.


The Concordia University Community HIV/AIDS Project as a whole is supervised and supported by two university committees, which are made up of faculty members and staff from various departments at Concordia. Members are committed to raising awareness of the Pandemic or in many cases have either taught or are teaching the HIV/AIDS courses, or are interested in incorporating the study of various aspects of the Pandemic into their curriculum. The broad scope of the HIV/AIDS project depends on the involvement of many volunteers, student interns and paid employees.

The HIV/AIDS courses themselves are taught by full-time and part-time faculty with the help of teaching assistants recruited from graduate students who are studying the Pandemic or its cognate issues within various disciplines. Every week, invited speakers from various Montreal community organizations, health care institutions or internal Concordia departments, both PWA and non-PWA, visit the on-site course to address a specific issue pertaining to the Pandemic. The online course is a virtual version of this structure in condensed form, reaching more then 200 students each year.

To fulfill the requirements for the on-site HIV/AIDS course, students must also participate in an internship in a community service, research or activist organization. This ambitious internship scheme is coordinated by a graduate student in a relevant discipline who is remunerated by a stipend in addition to the obvious benefits of practical educational experience. 

The community lecture series provides opportunities for members of the academic community, as well as local medical constituencies and networks, community and care activist groups. All lectures are free, widely publicized and have, in the last twenty-two years, become a valued source of information and solidarity for members of the local seropositive population, their friends and families.

The HIV/AIDS Project is directed by Karen Herland, with the help of Kaitlyn Zozula (internship coordinator) and Ferrin Evans (coordinator of the Concordia University Community Lecture Series on HIV/AIDS).

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