Saturday, November 19, 2011

PIAF hosts participatory research workshop on experiences of treatment among PLHIV in the Pacific

The Pacific Islands AIDS Foundation (PIAF) has embarked on a participatory research project that aims to explore experiences of treatment among HIV-positive people in six Pacific Island countries, and build the capacity of people living with HIV (PLHIV) to actively participate and contribute to HIV-related research.
This follows a workshop hosted by PIAF to introduce participants to HIV treatment and care, research and research methods, and to collaboratively design the project as a group.
The workshop participants included eight people living with HIV from around the region.
The first three days of the workshop focused on increasing the participants’ knowledge of different aspects of HIV-related treatment with sessions on emotional and psychological health, HIV and opportunistic infections, ART adherence and sexual reproductive health, and peer support.
The participants then embarked on the challenges of clarifying the aims of the project and mapping out the research, under the guidance of Karen McMillan from the International HIV Research Group of University of New South Wales, with support from Sesenieli Naitala.
The workshop also created the opportunity for participants to discuss ethical issues and practice conducting in-depth interviews.
On the last day of the workshop, the participants presented the project and some reflections on the process of collaboratively developing the project to the working group and PIAF staff members.
PIAF’s research officer, Hilary Gorman who is coordinating the project said: “The workshop was a success as participants were engaged and committed to exploring the issue of HIV treatment in their own countries and the wider Pacific Islands region.”
The workshop was made possible with the support of the Pacific Islands HIV and STI Response Fund, and took place at the Fiji National University, College of Medicine, Nursing & Health Science campus in Suva, from Oct 26 to Nov 4, 2011.

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