No one understands the reality of HIV better than someone who lives with it every day. Peers, who are specially trained members of the community who are living with HIV/AIDS – have the power to serve as important role models to others who are learning to cope with the daily challenges of living with HIV. The Peer Navigator Program was developed and launched in 2011 in partnership with Positive Living BC, a non-profit society dedicated to empowering persons living with HIV/AIDS through mutual support and collective action. Peer Navigators work as an integrated part of a multi-disciplinary team within the Immunodeficiency Clinic (IDC) clinic and the unit 10C Acute Care at St. Paul’s Hospital, share clients with the STOP HIV/AIDS Outreach Team Case Managers, and receive client referrals from other AIDS Service Organizations in the community. Peer Navigators work in tandem with a clinical team of nurses, social workers, and physicians to support clients improve self-management of HIV and improve their linkage and retention in medical care. Peer Navigator program goals are to: • Reduce forward HIV transmission; • Delay disease progression; • Promote the value of care, treatment and support; • Improve the transition and length of time between diagnosis and uptake of community supports and clinical care; • Increase the number of HIV-positive people accessing peer supports. • Support clients through lived experience and understanding. In collaboration with clinical care and case management teams, the Peer Navigator services have been effective in supporting patients to achieve improved health outcomes. The peer navigators provide an essential link to the community and have a far more in-depth understanding of the services provided by different agencies as many have had personal experiences with them. They are also seen as health partners by both patients and health care providers and can act as communication liaisons between patients and their providers when necessary. Overall, the Peer Navigator program has been highly successful at helping clients and improving care through interdisciplinary teams. Some results include; • 83% clients rating their Peer Navigator (PN) visit as “excellent” or “very good” • 67% clients reporting increased knowledge • 63% clients reporting increased confidence • Qualitative surveys from internal and external agencies report good working relationships and positive impact of PN on clients • 79% clients with suppressed (<200) viral load (VL) at post measurement, representing an increase from 40% at referral, an indicator of treatment adherence.
Leading Practices are submitted by health organizations from around the world. The contents of the Leading Practices library do not reflect opinions or views of HSO or its affiliates. If you have questions, concerns or suggestions please email us at email@example.com