How do people in different roles understand engagement across the HIV sector?
There are many organizations that work with unique communities affected by HIV to support prevention, programming, and care initiatives.
How these different organizations engage communities varies across different sites. Since the beginning of the HIV epidemic, principles like GIPA (the greater involvement of people living with HIV) and MEPA (the meaningful engagement of people living with HIV) have been central pillars in the HIV response. But what does that mean in practice?
The goal of this project is to think more deeply about community engagement. In this study, PhD candidate Sarah Switzer and Dr. Sarah Flicker, partnered with a large team to work with three distinct communities: Casey House (a sub-acute care HIV hospital), Toronto People with AIDS Foundation (an overall support service for people living with HIV) and the Empower Program at Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre (a youth-led HIV prevention program that delivers arts-based workshops). They ask volunteers, peer workers, clients, participants, coordinators and clinicians at each of these organizations to take photographs to communicate what engagement “looks like” and “feels like” in their given community. They picture strengths and challenges their organization faces. Each organization or program analyzes and discusses their photographs together. This process is called “photovoice”. The photos help us to see how community engagement is similar and different between the three organizations, and develop recommendations for future practice.
To date, the team has produced a visual report, three site-specific installations and a photo exhibit. For more information, and to download a copy of our community report visit: Picturing Participation