Empowerment and Inclusion
Community Advisory Boards (CABs)
Anticipated and experienced stigma, poor quality of care, and lack of friendly services prevent key populations, such as LGBTIQ+, from accessing essential HIV services. CABs bridge the gap between the health system and people living with and at risk of HIV. Represented by people living with HIV, key populations, and others affected by HIV, the goal of the CABs is to enable meaningful integration of the client perspective into healthcare service provision. CABs work with health authorities at the clinic and provincial level to use client feedback and other data for service redesign and focused quality improvement activities, including efforts to eliminate stigma and improve health literacy. Through shared responsibility and joint accountability with health workers, CABs help to create a culture of people-centered care.
Successful management of mental health disorders must include effective screening, referral, and treatment approaches, particularly for vulnerable populations. HAIVN works to integrate mental health screening into primary healthcare. Our approach includes: 1) introducing relevant screening tools into health visit protocols for healthcare workers; 2) establishing referral networks and linkages to qualified mental health care; and 3) supporting peer-led initiatives and advocacy for mental health awareness.
Through public health communication campaigns, social media marketing and workshops and other events, HAIVN works with our partners to increase public awareness, reduce stigma and discrimination and create demand for health services. Examples include the award-winning Love is Hard, HIV Prevention is Easy campaign, designed to raise awareness about biomedical HIV prevention and the Trust Your Doctor, Not the Ducks campaign, designed to combat misinformation around COVID-19 vaccines.