Peer-to-peer HIV education/prevention program for youth
Description of Program
What is the intervention/program/project?
Youth participants recruited from high schools, justice institutions and leadership institutions in rural areas attend a weekend-long “train the trainer” session to become peer educators.
The sessions run on weekends, and participants travel to a facility where the training is held. The training sessions include an HIV 101 workshop, an HIV/STI risk game, body mapping, sexual health, healthy relationships and an introduction to the different AIDS Service Organizations in New Brunswick. A public health representative provides a presentation on HIV/STI testing and people living with HIV/AIDS are invited to speak. The participants work through how to ask/answer tough questions in preparation for peer education. The weekend includes a practicum exercise where participants prepare presentations, present, and are given feedback from peers. Each participant receives a certificate of participation.
Throughout year, participants remain in contact through social media and are called upon by AIDS New Brunswick to help when giving workshops in area.
All resources are offered in English and French.
What is the goal/objective of the intervention/program/project?
This program strives to offer standardized training around sexual health through mentoring, engagement, and involvement. The program seeks to create partnerships and apply the GIPA principle to youth (even if they are not living with HIV/AIDS). It solidifies ownership and builds on engagement as a means to success.
Why was the intervention/program/project originally developed?
The organization works to provide knowledge exchange, education and awareness throughout the province, but cannot reach rural areas with any frequency due to travel time. The organization thought that having peers on the ground would allow for more prevention education in rural areas. Peer education is gaining popularity in sexual health promotion and can be a credible source of information if individuals are properly trained. It can be a way to empower those involved while using their existing networks and building positive role models.
How was the intervention/program/project developed?
The program developed organically, but research into social learning theories and resources about modeling, as a component to learning, were used.
OrganizationAIDS New Brunswick
The trainings are held at facilities rented in rural locations.
Resources for Program
- Printed materials on HIV and STIs.
- Facilitation guide/manual that gives participants guidance in presenting in front of people/public speaking.
- Requires equitable gender staffing, depending on number of students involved in workshop (1 adult/8-10 youth).
- Transport, accommodation and meal expenses for youth.
- Social activity for weekend (movie, etc.).
DurationThe agency hopes to offer the program twice a year on an ongoing basis. The program is incorporated into the funding cycle proposals.
The program is evaluated within the overall agency program evaluation.
Audience/client feedback and satisfaction
- Participants end-of-trainings evaluations include attitudes and impressions of people living with/at risk for infection, the quality of the program, facilitation, and the information presented by facilitator.
Process monitoring or evaluation
- Number of participants and self-identified sexuality statistics.
- Pre/post evaluations about increase in understanding/knowledge about HIV; intended behaviour changes in future; willingness to share information with others.
- The ability to be able to educate their peers relies heavily on support once the youth return to their home institution. More work must be done around creating supports within the school system, whereby people who have been trained have the opportunity to put what they have learned into practice.
- Youth are hungry for good information that allows them to make informed choices.
- The challenges come with working with adolescents and navigating logistics. It can be difficult to pin commitment down with an adolescent. The administrative processes, such as filling out the application and arranging transport, can be a challenge.
- Recruitment can be difficult. Finding the stakeholders among youth that are going to use the training and take the learning to heart can be a challenge. Once the youth are all together and in one place, the training itself runs smoothly.