What’s Hot in HIV Research? BC’s Highlight’s from CAHR 2015

In this spring review of What’s Hot in HIV Research, we take a look at contributions made by the Pacific AIDS Network and REACH’s BC  team to the Canadian Association for HIV Research (CAHR) 2015 Conference in Toronto, which was held in April.

  1. Invaluable Lessons: Compensating Peer Research Associates in HIV Community-Based Research in Canada

This poster, presented by PAN and members of a BC working group made up of membInvaluable lessonsers from our HIV CBR in BC Quarterly meetings, highlighted key learnings around thoughtful compensation of peer research associates in HIV community based research (CBR). Having clear compensation policies and procedures can be helpful in clarifying expectations and responsibilities relating to people’s involvement, yet, few resources exist to provide guidance on developing compensation structures. This initiative sought to fill this gap, and our poster at CAHR highlighted tips from our CBR Tips resource on this topic.

  1. Building a Community-Based HIV/HCV Shared Measurement System: Successes and Lessons Learned from the Community HIV/HCV Evaluation and Reporting Tool (CHERT) in BC

What’s been learned from the process of developing BC’s CHERT? CHERT is an online survey that collects annual data from community-based organizations (CBOs) with the goal of demonstrating the collective contribution made by community programs.Chert poster

This poster presents some of the challenges and lessons learned from this effort to develop a shared measurement system, including how it’s important to focus on outcome indicators as well as process indicators and how data collection can be challenging for CBO staff, who have limited resources available for this task

  1. Moving Mountains: Addressing HIV/AIDS in Northern BC through Community Based Research (CBR)

In 2014, PAN partnered with researchers from the University of Northern British Columbia and community organizations to co-host a process aimed at generating HIVMoving mountains poster CBR research priorities for BC’s Northern region, as well as sharing findings from local studies and building capacity to participate in CBR.

This poster presents information about the process and its findings, which noted that there are several pressing topics for HIV CBR, including the need to examine the impact of natural resource development industries and economic boom on the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

  1. Findings from the Impacts of Food Security on Health Outcomes in People living with HIV/AIDS in BC studyFS poster 1

Two posters from this HIV/AIDS and food security study were presented at CAHR, one that focused on the experiences of peer research associates in the study, and a second that outlined the association betwe en food insecurity and food procurement methods. Peer Research Associates’ Experience: This poster spoke to the challenges and key learnings regarding the role of peer research associates (PRAs) in this CBR study, which was the first national HIV CBR study to engage PRAs.

The second poster, Association between Food Insecurity and Food Procurement Methods FS poster 2among People Living with HIV/AIDS in BC,examined the prevalence and characteristics of food insecurity among HIV-positive people across BC, looking specifically at the association between food insecurity and food procurement methods.

For more details, visit the Pacific AIDS Network’a CBR Musings blog.


PAN hires Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI) & Stigma Index Project Manager

The Pacific AIDS Network (PAN) is excited to announce that Jaydee Cossar will be joining our team as the Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI) & Stigma Index Project Manager.

Jaydee has been an active contributor in the non-profit sector for a number of years. As a peer support advocate and project manager for the Peer Action Support Team — a peer advocacy initiative — Jaydee assisted youth with the reporting of hate crimes and provided follow-up support services.  Jaydee has several years’ experience in non-profit program administration, implementation and youth work. Working with Youthquest! Lesbian and Gay Youth Society of British Columbia, a youth-centred network of drop-ins, as well as on a crime prevention sport program, with the Attorney General’s Office. As a program facilitator for Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, Jaydee educated teens in order to promote sexual health. While in University Jaydee gained experience as a CBC radio research assistant, and has worked as a team sales and retention lead for a telecommunications company. Currently Jaydee sits on the Board of Directors at Positive Living Society of BC and is actively engaged in the HIV/AIDS community. Jaydee is also a graduate of PAN’s PLDI Core Training and Communications Skills training.

We’re excited to have Jaydee join our dynamic team and we look forward to the exciting and important work that lays ahead for him in his role supporting two of PAN’s projects the PLDI and the Speaking My Truth: The Canadian People Living with HIV Stigma Index in BC  (the Stigma Index). He will be starting in his new position on May 4th.


Rethinking ASOs? Deliberative Dialogue Report Available!

ReThinking-ASOs-report-cover-232x300This project was a partnership between the Atlantic and British Columbia regions. Our goal for Rethinking ASOs? Responding to the End of AIDS Exceptionalism through East-West Collaboration, was to spend time talking about the shifting roles of ASOs. We worked to foster dialogue, to share knowledge, and to develop priorities for further research that can be acted upon together or separately, and ultimately benefit the HIV/AIDS sector. And as the title suggests, our process was grounded in a question – do AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) need rethinking within the current policy context?

We held two simultaneous, one-day Deliberative Dialogue meetings on November 24, 2014 – one in the Atlantic region and one in BC. These were great meetings with a lot of important learning and the final report is now available.


British Columbia

Community-based research around HIV/AIDS is thriving in British Columbia. To learn more about CBR in this region, read about BC’s regional research priorities and visit the Pacific AIDS Network’s website, which includes highlights from some current initiatives and studies underway in the region. PAN’s online CBR Toolkit is also a great resource, providing information and links to helpful resources on peer involvement in research, knowledge translation, ethics, funding and more. Keep in touch with the CBR program at the Pacific AIDS Network by reading the CBR Musings blog and following us on Twitter @PAN_CBR.

The PAN Community-Based Research Team has been leading and supporting a number of on-going initiatives in BC, including:

  • Positive Living, Positive Homes (PLPH): PLPH is a community-based research study – led by a diverse team of nearly 30 people and organizations – that is using a case-study approach to study how people living with HIV/AIDS experience housing and health in British Columbia. It will also examine how housing and HIV programs, services and policies influence access to housing. It is hoped that research findings will be mobilized into actionable policy recommendations to improve housing for people living with HIV in BC.
  • The Canadian People Living with HIV Stigma Index in BC: A team of people living with HIV, leaders from community-based organizations, and academics are working to roll out this international stigma tool in British Columbia, thanks to funding from the Vancouver Foundation and the CIHR Centre for REACH. This work will map the experiences of stigma among people living with HIV and create action plans to begin to address stigma in the province. The BC project is linked to the national project hosted by the CIHR Centre for REACH.
  • Moving Mountains HIV/AIDS Community Based Research in Northern BC: The goal of this initiative is to increase capacity for community-based research in BC’s Northern Region. A small conference was held in Prince George on June 17-19, 2014 and brought together a diverse group of stakeholders from the region to share findings from recent research and participate in workshops. A number of research priorities were identified and work is now underway to develop one or more new projects in alliance with these priorities.
  • Rethinking ASOs? Responding to the End of AIDS Exceptionalism through East-West Collaboration – A bi-coastal team, made up of representatives from British Columbia and the Atlantic partnerships, have been leading a process to look at the potential impacts of moves towards more integrated approaches of service delivery. Thus far, the team has conducted a literature review and policy mapping, recorded three video modules, and organized full-day of deliberative dialogues on this topic in Halifax and Vancouver (November 2014). Stay tuned for the event report and next steps!
  • Program Science Capacity Building – PAN is working to rollout a comprehensive REACH 2.0 program in BC. As part of this work we have supported a number of program science capacity building events for our membership and stakeholders.