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The Role of Peer Educators in addressing Barriers & Motivations to HIV Testing


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The Australian Gay Community Periodic Survey (1998-2010) tells us that 1 in 8 sexually active gay men have never tested. Michael Atkinson (WA AIDS Council) talks about a strategy to address barriers to testing and to promote testing culture - the MClinic. This presentation was given at the AFAO/NAPWA Gay Men's HIV Health Promotion Conference in May 2012.

Published in: Health & Medicine
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The Role of Peer Educators in addressing Barriers & Motivations to HIV Testing

  1. 1. The Role of Peer EducatorsIn Addressing Barriers and Motivation to Testing Michael Atkinson
  2. 2. Community Testing Objectives1.Access2.Access3.Access
  3. 3. Standard Testing Process• Make an appointment• Get to the clinic• Talk about sexual behaviour• Provide specimens• Return for results• Schedule next appointment• And on it goes…
  4. 4. Psycho-social Barriers• Stigma and discrimination (HIV & sexuality)• Anxiety• Guilt & shame• Relationship dynamics (notions of trust)• Internalised homophobia• Lifestyle - people are busier than ever• Fear – for example needles
  5. 5. M Clinic – Access Features • Community setting • Gay Friendly • Staffed by a mix of peer and clinical staff • Same day appointments • Convenient open times and location • Free & quick service • Neutral setting - increase MSM comfort • Good parking and public transport • Confidential
  6. 6. Principles of approach• Integrated approach: combines medical, public health and peer models to reduce acquisition of HIV and STIs• Provides an opportunity for guys to talk openly about their sexual behaviour allowing for tailored education and support• High quality and authentic pre and post test discussion reduces possibility of associated trauma of a positive diagnosis
  7. 7. Role of Peer EducatorInvolved in all aspects of service:• Clinic coordination• Service delivery – Reception: greet clients, triage, informal education – Pre test discussion: hand over to nurse/doctor – Post test discussion: education and referral – Give positive results: HIV & STIs• Administration and Data Collection• Clinical Governance including research