Northern Saskatchewan HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C awareness initiative

Last Updated: February 3, 2014

Sylvia Abonyi, PhD (Principal Investigator)
Bonnie Jeffery, PhD (Co-Investigator)

The major objective of this research project, conducted between October 2002 and June 2005, was to collect baseline information on northern peoples' perceptions and experiences of HIV/AIDS, as well as to identify local and regional capacities and gaps for preventing and managing HIV/AIDS. Because hepatitis C comes to communities in many of the same ways as HIV and AIDS, it was also included in the research. 

Goals / Outcomes: A steering committee representing researchers, health regions, Aboriginal health organizations and participating communities identified the project objectives as determining community awareness, documenting knowledge and local experiences, identifying factors to increase communities’ capacity to assists individuals with HIV/AIDS, and finding ways to talk about these issues while conducting primary prevention, education, care, and monitoring. Through individual interviews and group discussion, researchers found a desire for more knowledge; misconceptions about transmission, causes, and vulnerability; concerns about geographical distances and remoteness for service; and a wish for more consistent programming and service. The steering committee then made recommendations to create a regional strategy, move the emphasis from treatment to public awareness and education; address misconceptions; and include communities in strategic planning, along with individuals groups and organizations.

Funder: Canadian Institutes of Health Research

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