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J Community Psychol. 2009;37(1):41-57.

USING PARTICIPATORY METHODS AND GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS (GIS) TO PREPARE FOR AN HIV COMMUNITY-BASED TRIAL IN VULINDLELA, SOUTH AFRICA (Project Accept-HPTN 043).

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Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Abstract

Recent attempts to integrate geographic information systems (GIS) and participatory techniques, have given rise to terminologies such as participatory GIS and community-integrated GIS. Although GIS was initially developed for physical geographic application, it can be used for the management and analysis of health and health care data. Geographic information systems, combined with participatory methodology, have facilitated the analysis of access to health facilities and disease risk in different populations. Little has been published about the usefulness of combining participatory methodologies and GIS technology in an effort to understand and inform community-based intervention studies, especially in the context of HIV. This article attempts to address this perceived gap in the literature. The authors describe the application of participatory research methods with GIS in the formative phase of a multisite community-based social mobilization trial, using voluntary counseling and testing and post-test support as the intervention.

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