Welcome to the Pacific AIDS Network’s May review of What’s HOT in HIV Research! It’s been a very busy few months here at PAN since our über exciting Knowledge to Action conference in February followed by the Canadian Association for HIV Research (CAHR) conference in Vancouver. As usual, I find myself riding the waves of Twitter, research news from here and there, and information from various listservs, and finding that a few things have tweaked my interest over the past while. Here’s a short summary of a few “Hot” items that have been warming the cool West Coast spring!
Aboriginal HIV/AIDS research is making progress in Canada, with amazing research projects and innovative methodologies that build on the assets of culture, storytelling, and movements to decolonize research. With the launching of the AHA CBR Collaborative Centre this year and with several studies starting to share findings or getting underway, those of us who work in solidarity and partnership with researchers and organizations leading these initiatives have so much that we can learn from these projects. I was really in awe to hear about the potlatch held to translate the findings from the Cedar Project in Prince George, which is a great example of what it looks like when researchers follow through on the commitment to bringing research findings back to community. And, the recently released preliminary findings from the A-TRACK study – a first of its kind study to look at HIV prevention, testing and care, along with sexual and drug use indicators among Aboriginal people in Canada– is another example of research done through meaningful and respectful partnerships. If you’re interested in learning more about Aboriginal HIV/AIDS community-based research, the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network is hosting their fourth Wise Practices Gathering in Saskatoon this September, with the theme of “The Role of Research in Getting to Zero” – there are even some scholarships available (deadline is June 7).
(left) Andrea Langlois, CBR Manager, and Evin Jones, Executive Director at PAN, presenting a poster about community based HIV housing research at CAHR 2013.
It’s no secret that HIV and housing research has been on fire the past few years. With the trailblazing Positive Spaces, Healthy Places CBR study in Ontario leading the way and showing how research can be moved to action, there are several new studies coming down the (metaphorical) pipelines, a few of which are here in BC. The Pacific AIDS Network heard recently that we were awarded a CIHR Operating Grant for Positive Living, Positive Homes, a CBR project that we’ve been leading with a team of almost 30 people! We were thrilled to present a poster at CAHR called “Brick by Brick: Building on the Principles of Community-Based Research.” After the development phase of the project wrapped up, we paused to review what we had learned about what it means to actually do CBR, and this poster outlines our results. We’ll also be attending the North American Housing and HIV/AIDS Research Summit in Montreal this fall and will report back on what we learn there. If this is your area of interest, we hope to see you there!
Research around gay, bi and men who have sex with men is also getting more airtime these days, which is essential, considering that in most parts of Canada gay/MSM still represent over 50% of the epidemic. This year at CAHR there were many presentations highlighting new research in this area, and if you weren’t able to attend the conference, many of the plenaries are available to view online, including one of my favorites by Maori researcher Clive Aspen. I was also really fortunate to get one of the much sought-after spots at the Beyond Behaviours post-CAHR session hosted by our friends at the Community Based Research Centre for Gay Men’s Health, if you follow the link above they’ve posted some of the slides online from the session. And do stay tuned for the upcoming release of their report “Stepping Up,” which is about young gay men’s health, to be launched next week in Vancouver.
Questions? Feedback? Get in touch!
Community-Based Research Manager
This article first appeared on the website of Pacific AIDS Network here.