Rethinking ASOs?

The community-based response to HIV/AIDS has evolved significantly over the past 30 years. From bake sales to AIDS walks, from kitchen table meetings to board rooms, from helplines to one-stop health centers, and, in some cases, from HIV-only to integrated services, the response to the epidemic has shifted. These changes are due in part to the advent of new testing technologies and treatment options, as well as transformations in policy, funding and service provision contexts.

In response, a group of community-based organization representatives and academics in British Columbia and the Atlantic provinces saw an opportunity to collaborate in sharing our understanding of the shifting roles of AIDS service organizations (ASOs). We were successful in obtaining research planning funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to conduct initial research and host conversations on what further research could be done to support communities responding to these changes (full project title: Rethinking ASOs?: Responding to the End of AIDS Exceptionalism through East-West Collaboration).

The goals of the Rethinking ASOs project were process-based – 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. We engaged a diverse group of stakeholders in each region, including people living with HIV/AIDS, representatives of community organizations, representatives from the policy sector, and university-based academics.
As part of the preparation for in-person deliberative dialogues held in Halifax and Vancouver in November 2014, we created the following resource pages:

The final project report is now available. This report provides an overview of the process and a summary of the dialogues in Vancouver and Halifax.

This project was made possible through an HIV/AIDS Planning Grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

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  • The Research and Evaluation work at Pacific AIDS Network is funded through a partnership with the CIHR CBR Collaborative, a program of REACH 2.0.  REACH 2.0 is “a nation-wide, innovative, virtual laboratory for intervention research, participatory evaluation, and applied program science in HIV, hepatitis C, and other sexually transmitted and bloodborne infections.” The PAN Research and… Read more »

  • “Community-based research is research that is conducted with and for, not on, members of a community.” (Kerry Strand. 2003. Community-Based Research and Higher Education: Principles and Practices, p. xxi) Community-based research (CBR) is a methodological practice that places community partnerships at the forefront. promote an interdisciplinary framework that recognizes the multiple social, economic, political and health… Read more »

  • PAN’s Community-Based Research (CBR) program facilitates and supports community-based research initiatives and partnerships to address HIV and HCV  in British Columbia and across Canada.  This program is possible thanks to our partnership with and funding from the CIHR Centre for REACH in HIV/AIDS. Through CBR  we work to help foster CBR in the province by linking… Read more »

  • One of the key pieces in our Training and Leadership program is the Positive Leadership  Development Institute (PLDI). The purpose of PLDI is to support people living with HIV/AIDS to realize their leadership potential and increase their capacity to participate meaningfully in community life. PLDI features three modules to engage people at various stages of… Read more »

  • As part of our Training and Leadership program, webinar topics are  developed with community input gathered at our annual meeting with people from across BC, through our annual Members and Stakeholder Surveys, and by following public health trends and emerging issues. Our goal is to provide member organizations and the community information they can use… Read more »

  • PAN works to facilitate, support and grow participatory evaluation initiatives and associated partnerships that address HIV, HCV and and related issues in British Columbia and across Canada.  This work is made possible through our partnership with and funding from the CIHR Centre for REACH in HIV/AIDS. PAN works within a participatory and community-based evaluation framework: we work to build… Read more »

  • Each year our Fall Conference focuses on key issues in HIV and HCV work in order to educate, support and connect people working across BC. The annual meeting, Executive Directors’ Summit and People Living with HIV forum also identify and prioritize advocacy issues for PAN to address.  The 2017 event will be October 25 and… Read more »

  • The Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI) supports people who are living with HIV to realize their leadership potential and increase their capacity to participate meaningfully in community life. Developed in partnership with the Ontario AIDS Network (OAN), these learning modules have supported many people to go on to pursue paid and volunteer work with new… Read more »

  • Going on a weekend training with peers who have HIV can be life-changing. People arrive to meet other attendees and often feel nervous and uncertain about what to expect and how they will do. When the weekend program is finished, people  don’t want to leave. But what does happen when people leave? How does PLDI training… Read more »

  • The Positive Leadership Development Institute News blog covers information about the multi-module PLDI training as well as information about PLDI grads. Some have gone on to work in the HIV sector as researchers, educators, support workers, and more. Read stories on what it’s like to work in community-based research work from someone with lived experience; read… Read more »

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