PAN at CAHR 2017: The power of inclusive research methodologies, as presented by the BC People Living with HIV Stigma Index

This post is one of three in our series about Pacific AIDS Network’s (PAN) poster and oral presentations at this year’s Canadian Association for HIV Research (CAHR) Conference in Montreal, QC. The first post in the series focused on our impact evaluation of the Positive Leadership Development Institute aPAN CAHR Stigma Post Imagend can be found here.

PAN’s BC People Living with HIV Stigma Index Research Steering Committee was excited to give an oral presentation titled Emancipatory Participation: Active Change Agents in the Fight Against Stigma in the multidisciplinary session focused on community-based research and participatory approaches. The Research Steering Committee thought it apt to expound the methodological virtues of integrating GIPA/MEPIA vertically and horizontally across all aspects of the research design and implementation. As such, the presentation by Jaydee Cossar, PAN’s Stigma Index Project manager, highlighted the role PLHIV in conceptualizing the Stigma Index methodology and research schema, a level of involvement that adds a new twist to a core principle of community based research. The presentation stressed how the Stigma Index went one step further in the GIPA/MEIPA process by not only consulting PLHIV but by centring those living with HIV as active participants engaged meaningfully in all research activities: as research team members, core staff, interviewers, interviewees, and as drivers of the data collection, analysis, and dissemination. The main crux of the presentation postulated, vis-à-vis the Stigma Index research process of meaningful inclusion, that when efforts are made to embrace the unique and specific needs of PLHIV, individuals can break the layered and intersectional bonds of HIV stigma, becoming active change agents for their communities and themselves.

Keep your eyes out for our next post, which will focus on the Positive Living, Positive Homes study’s poster presentations at CAHR!


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