Integrated support and education services
Description of Program
What is the intervention/program/project?
PLFV provides educational sessions on HIV prevention throughout the Fraser Valley. Some workshops are provided through partnerships with other agencies. Other interventions are held when PLFV is called with requests to attend health fairs, events, social service fairs, information tabling, etc. Locations where educational sessions are provided include treatment centres, recovery houses, schools on reservations, the Sto’lo Nation. Where possible, training sessions are also provided in classrooms. A peer often presents with the organization so that the information comes directly from someone living with HIV.
What is the goal/objective of the intervention/program/project?
The overall aim of the program is to stop the spread of HIV. The goal is to conduct HIV prevention by getting information to the public, those who need it, and those at risk, while reducing stigma. Awareness and education programming are a small part of the larger organization.
The vision is to build a proactive community that is aware, supportive, and receptive to the elimination of the social isolation and stigma connected to HIV, HCV, TB and ALL Sexually Transmitted Blood Borne Infections.
Why was the intervention/program/project originally developed?
The organization was formed in response to a needs assessment conducted in 2006 that identified gaps in HIV/AIDS services within the Fraser Valley. The assessment made recommendations in terms of what programs were required first. The education program was identified as a need.
How was the intervention/program/project developed?
The program was modeled on what was identified in the needs assessment/local needs.
OrganizationPositive Living Fraser Valley (PLFV)
- People living with HIV/AIDS
- People who use drugs
The program operates a drop-in centre and resource area at the main office in Abbotsford. The organization operates occasional satellite services at the Mission Indian Friendship Centre, the Sto’lo Nation, and the Hope and Area Transition Society. The workshops are offered in various locations.
Resources for Program
- Full-time staff (6 positions)
- Funding for services and programs
- Collaborative partnerships and Memorandums of Understanding
- Peer training resources
- Materials from CATIE
Process monitoring or evaluation
- Number of events, how many people attended, reasons for attending.
Audience/client feedback and satisfaction
- Informal/formal workshop feedback.
- Pre/post evaluation quizzes for workshops.
Evaluation TermsAudience/client feedback and satisfaction, Outcome evaluation, Process monitoring or evaluation
- There are many gaps in services.
- With such a large geographical area, the challenges are very different from those in an urban setting. Staff requires travel time to cover an enormous area.
- Education is not limited to HIV prevention. Other questions about harm reduction, peoples’ values, moral opinions, and stigma from lack of information must be addressed in educational work.
- An educator talking to people is not always as powerful as someone with personal story who can talk about the disease and provide a better understanding.
- A greater degree of education is needed at the hospital level.
- It can be difficult to find peers who are able to endure a presentation with people who ask questions that are stigmatizing. There is a balance between protecting peers and putting information out to the public.
- Some people just do not want education and do not feel that it is necessary. It is challenging to convince an institution that information is relevant to a community.
- The agency must balance the practical needs of clients living with HIV versus making time for presentations. With a large area and client base, clients take up most of the time. This can be discouraging for people requesting an education session immediately. At times, staff is not available for a month.
- Underfunding of services in a region can lead to competition among agencies for funding. At times, this creates an unsupportive climate among agencies.