The HIV/AIDS Labrador Project
Description of Program
What is the intervention/program/project?
The HIV/AIDS Labrador Project operates out of the Labrador Friendship Centre and provides HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention through presentations and events. The coordinator provides two different presentations in schools for youth. The presentations are tailored to the information needs of the youth, how the youth are responding and the energy in the room. The focus is on the prevention of HIV and STBBI’s, primarily, but the content spans into harm reduction, mental health, personal development and healthy sexuality/healthy relationships. The coordinator conducts presentations in the Labrador Correctional Facility every three months and sets up a monthly booth at the College of the North Atlantic. The project includes a variety of other activities, such as home visits and referrals, an AIDS Walk for Life, a Red Ribbon theatre arts show and educational opportunities for service providers. HIV/AIDS Labrador also has an active Facebook page and uses social media for awareness raising.
What is the goal/objective of the intervention/program/project?
The program’s primary objective is to provide awareness and information on the prevention of HIV/STI and other BBI’s to contribute to the healthy sexuality and personal development of Aboriginal Peoples in Labrador. A secondary objective is to provide HIV/STI/BBI awareness and prevention information for service providers in Labrador.
Why was the intervention/program/project originally developed?
The HIV/AIDS Labrador Project originated from an earlier research project entitled the Labrador HIV/AIDS Surveillance Study. This study indicated a need for an HIV/AIDS project in Labrador.Health care professionals in Labrador were concerned that indicating factors, such as STIs, isolation and perspectives would put Labradorians at risk of HIV/AIDS. The HIV/AIDS Labrador project is the only sexual health awareness initiative in Labrador.
How was the intervention/program/project developed?
The current coordinator was not yet working with the organization during the program’s initial development. Over the years, the project has expanded to provide support for personal development because it was found that many people were not retaining the information about HIV due to personal development needs.
OrganizationLabrador Friendship Centre
- Harm reduction
- Social media
- Harm reduction
- Incarcerated and/or remanded individuals
- Indigenous peoples
- People who use drugs
- Service providers
Name: Scosha Diamond
Position: HIV/AIDS Coordinator
The office is in Happy Valley Goose Bay. Workshops are offered on the North Coast, South Coast and Upper Lake Melville in Labrador, in schools, a correctional facility and college. Education is offered virtually through Facebook.
Project ResourcesMost resources used are produced by other organizations.
Resources for Program
- Educational resources from CATIE, CAAN, Pauktuutit and Planned Parenthood.
- One staff.
- Funding for wages and supplies.
DurationOngoing – project based funding
- Short term/long term knowledge retained.
- Number of people at events/presentations.
Process monitoring or evaluation
- Field notes collected by project coordinator.
Evaluation TermsAudience/client feedback and satisfaction, Outcome evaluation, Output tracking, Process monitoring or evaluation
- Benefits of a peer-to-peer model. The project has been as beneficial for the coordinator as for the participants. It has provided the coordinator with awareness/prevention strategies in her own life.
- What is learned about substance use and sex in schools (i.e., all sex and substance use is bad) is often contradictory to what people are learning through experience in the home (i.e., prevalent in the home). This disparity often leads to a lot of anger and confusion among youth.
- It is essential to look at sex and healthy sexuality in a holistic way. The importance of understanding our own sexuality and what we want in life is tied into our emotions and trauma.
- The importance of understanding the energy of the group, of both participants and presenters, in tailoring information for audience.
- The importance of meeting people where they are at in terms of substance use.
- Attitudes can be challenging. Talking about sexuality is still very much taboo in the region. Many people do not feel comfortable talking about sex without joking about it. For instance, some materials produced by other agencies are determined by the community to be too controversial/explicit, promoting of sex, etc.
- People’s views about substance use, and seeing all substance use as abuse, can be very damaging for people. The prevalent perception of substance use is challenging.
- The perception that the project coordinator delivers presentations that are ‘over the top’ for the comfort level of the region and/or that she is not qualified to do the work without an educational degree.