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Peer Education in HIV: Emerging characteristics in the 21st century; examining strengths and limitations

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This presentation was given by Shaun Staunton, University of Qld, at the AFAO HIV Educators Conference, May 2010.

This presentation was given by Shaun Staunton, University of Qld, at the AFAO HIV Educators Conference, May 2010.

Published in: Health & Medicine, Business

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  • 1. Peer Education in HIV: Emerging characteristics in the 21st century; examining strengths and limitations
    Shaun Staunton
    Education & Project Management Specialist
    HIV & HCV Education Projects
    University of Queensland School of Medicine
    With thanks for permission to use the included information to;
    Joe Debattista:
    Email: joedebat@powerup.com.au
    Sexual Health, HIV & HCV Coordinator for the Brisbane Central Area Health Service (Queensland Health)
    Steve Lambert:
    Email: s.lambert@uq.edu.au
    Coordinator; HIV and HCV Education Projects, University of Queensland
  • 2. University of Queensland School of MedicineHIV & HCV Projects
    Our Vision
    To be committed to the continuum of clinical education for
    Clinicians, offering comprehensive, evidence based and
    up to date training in the areas of HIV, Viral Hepatitis and
    Sexual Health at a state, national and international level.
    Three core training areas; Sexual Health, Hepatitis C, HIV
    Training utilises a constructivist model – building on prior
    knowledge via the application of new knowledge in
    practical ways
  • 3. The Project
    • Secretariat of the Pacific Community; regional intergovernmental organisation aiming to develop the capability of Pacific Island People
    • 4. In depth assessment of peer education programmes working with identified vulnerable populations conducted for ten selected countries in the Pacific region
    • 5. Cook Islands
    • 6. Federated States of Micronesia
    • 7. Kiribati
    • 8. Nauru
    • 9. Republic of the Marshall Islands
    • 10. Samoa
    • 11. The Solomon Islands
    • 12. Tuvalu
    • 13. Tonga
    • 14. Vanuatu
    • Similar work was carried out in African and Middle-Easton regions
    • 15. Oman
    • 16. Lebanon
    • 17. Sudan
    • 18. Egypt
    • 19. Jordan
    • 20. Yemen
    • 21. Tunisia
    • 22. Djibouti
    • 23. South Sudan
    • 24. Syria
    • 25. Somalia
    • 26. Funded by the United Nations Population Fund Arab States Regional Office
    • 27. Focused on a review of Y-Peer (Youth Peer Education Network)
    • 28. Intervention manual made available by UNSW and other Australian services
  • 29. Characteristics of true peer education
    The project targets a vulnerable community in the country. The intervention is well targeted. (Basis for this comes from national strategies and other sources of feedback about what the vulnerable populations in the country are)
    Governance. The peers are involved in the way things are run and the decision making involves them. There is engagement with the target population in the design, implementation and evaluation of the project. There is engagement at some levels and constant attempts are made to pursue this engagement.
  • 30. 3. There is obvious support for the peer education project at an organisational and national level.
    4. Collaborative relationship with other organisations who are undertaking peer based activities in HIV in the country so that there is no duplication (competition) of services.
  • 31. Recruitment strategies for peer educators are appropriate, systematic, ongoing and sustainable. This includes developing defined marketing strategies. There is an accepted and celebrated exit strategy for peers educators
    There is initial and follow up education for the peer educators. There is sustainable capacity building of peers.
  • 32. 7. Referral systems are in place to address the needs of the target population as things arise. This includes ability to follow up on whether anything happened as a result of the referral (did the person actually attend for VCCT) and an ability to assess whether the referring agency is effective and provides suitable service.
    8. Evaluation. There are set outcomes. How is the effectiveness of the project determined? What agreed measures are in place to assess whether this project ‘makes a difference’ or not and is there a defined mechanism to report against these? It is acknowledged that these is extremely difficult, however, are there attempts to do this?
  • 33. Monitoring. A code of behaviour is defined and followed. This includes a monitoring mechanism for the knowledge, skills and conduct of peer educators.
    The project makes an obvious and tangibleimpact. Things that have changed as a result of the project being in existence are able to be discussed
  • 34. Other general recommendations
    • Peer educators need to be better supported to utilise their time effectively in delivering well targeted peer education rather than being increasingly burdened with other broader community responsibilities
    • 35. Careful review of (existing and planned) programmes should be undertaken to ensure that they correctly access the target population that is most vulnerable, identify issues and address real needs, and are in line with local needs, priorities and the overall strategic direction
    • 36. HIV peer education initiatives targeting young people need to account for the heterogeneity of this population by undertaking regular needs assessments among this group
    • Community development approaches that target life skills rather than HIV specifically should be supported among MSM
    • 37. Peers should be resourced to contribute to the governance, management and strategic coordination of peer education programmes targeting their community
    • 38. Peers should be resourced to contribute to the governance, management and strategic coordination of peer education programmes targeting their community
  • Further Information
    Shaun Staunton
    s.staunton@uq.edu.au
    07 3365 5026