XVIII International AIDS Conference

Abstract

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Pouvoir partager/pouvoirs partagés (PP/PP) (sharing together?for life): experiences of HIV disclosure from a skills-building program by and for women living with HIV

J. Otis1, É. Bellier2, L. Massie1, PP/PP Study Group

1Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Chaire de Recherche du Canada en Éducation à la Santé, Montreal, Canada, 2Université de Nantes, UFR Psychologie, Nantes, France

Background: For a person living with HIV (PLHIV), the issue of disclosing their HIV status in diverse contexts is a burden they bear throughout their life. PP/PP is a program developed by and for women living with HIV (WLHIV) that assists them in making informed decisions on this issue within various contexts and to develop and use strategies to support this decision. It has seven workshops (three hours each) based on participatory methods and facilitated by WLHIV peers who are program alumni.
Methods: Between September and December 2009, 72 WLHIV (Quebeckers, Africans, Haitians, Asians and South-Americans) participated in these workshops situated in different regions of the province of Quebec, Canada (12 groups). A mixed design was put in place to document the effects of the program: self-administered questionnaires pre-post intervention; discussion groups with the participants; journals from the facilitators and the coordinator.
Results: Following their participation in the program, women were more able to recognize the importance of the support of other women in this decision-making process (3.88 vs 4.39; p≤ 0.003). They felt more capable: to make a free and informed decision according to the context (3.31 vs 4.04; p≤ 0.0001); to plan and apply strategies to keep the secret (3.24 vs 4.23; p≤ 0.0001); or, to disclose (2.94 vs 4.06; p≤ 0.0001) if that was their decision. PP/PP seems to have improved their general sense of mastery in their everyday lives (3.52 vs 3.82; p≤ 0.0001). Many participants are now involved in the organization of a community forum and the writing of a book.
Conclusions: PP/PP promotes respect for cultural diversity and addresses the issue of disclosure with respect to each participant's trajectory. It contributes to skills-building for WLHIV and has excellent potential for transferability.


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