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AIDS Care. 2018 Jun;30(6):739-745. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2017.1391982. Epub 2017 Oct 24.

Effects Of HIV stigma reduction interventions in diasporic communities: insights from the CHAMP study.

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a Committee for Accessible AIDS Treatment , Regent Park Community Health Centre , Toronto , ON , Canada.
b Ontario HIV Treatment Network , Toronto , ON , Canada.
c Department of Psychiatry , University of Toronto , Toronto , ON , Canada.
d Department of Sociology, Anthropology, & Criminology , University of Windsor , Windsor , ON , Canada.
e Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing , Ryerson University , Toronto , ON , Canada.


Racialized diasporic communities in Canada experience disproportionate burden of HIV infection. Their increased vulnerabilities are associated with interlocking challenges, including barriers in accessing resources, migration and settlement stress, and systemic exclusion. Further, people living with HIV (PLHIV) in these diasporic communities face stigma and discrimination in both mainstream Canadian society as well as their own ethno-racial communities. HIV stigma negatively impacts all aspects of HIV care, from testing to disclosure to treatment and ongoing care. In response to these challenges, a Toronto based community organization developed and implemented the CHAMP project to engage people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) and leaders from different service sectors from the African/Caribbean, Asian and Latino communities to explore challenges and strategies to reduce HIV stigma and build community resilience. The study engaged 66 PLHIV and ethno-racial leaders from faith, media and social justice sectors in two stigma-reduction training programs: Acceptance Commitment Therapy Training (ACT) and Social Justice Capacity Building (SJCB). Data collection included pre-and post- intervention surveys, focus groups and monthly activity logs. Participants were followed for a year and data on changes in the participants' attitudes and behaviors as well as their actual engagement in HIV prevention, PLHIV support and stigma reduction activities were collected. CHAMP results showed that the interventions were effective in reducing HIV stigma and increasing participants' readiness to take action towards positive social change. Participants' activity logs over a period of 9 months after completing the training showed they had engaged in 1090 championship activities to advocate for HIV related health equity and social justice issues affecting racialized and newcomer PLHIV and communities.


CBR; HIV Stigma reduction; community leaders; newcomers living with HIV; racial minority

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