Exciting CAAT news from the research front! This year CAAT has succeeded in getting our first CIHR CBR operational funding for our new research study CHAMP: “Community Champions HIV Advocates Mobilization Project”. The CHAMP study was developed as a strategic community-based action research initiative in response to the key findings and recommendations from our previous research study: “Mobilizing Ethno-racial Leaders against HIV stigma” (MEL) funded by the Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN). The MEL study identified the lack of visible ethno-racial PHA leaders, lack of community champions and deep-rooted homophobia to be key barriers that perpetuate HIV stigma amongst ethno-racial communities and undermine HIV prevention and support initiatives. The new CHAMP study will pilot and evaluate the effectiveness of two innovative training interventions (Acceptance Commitment Training and Social Justice Capacity Building Training) in supporting the development of community champions to advance anti-stigma HIV prevention initiatives amongst ethno-racial communities. We are happy to welcome Henry Luyombya as our CHAMP project coordinator. Henry brings years of international and local HIV organizing experiences, academic training in international development and public policies, as well as direct working experiences as peer research associates on two previous CAAT research studies. The project has also successfully recruited a team of peer research associates from our target cultural communities and is currently preparing for full launch of activities once we receive final ethics approval.
Through our leadership on the ethno-racial research working group at the CIHR Centre for REACH in HIV/AIDS, we are working to advance a coordinated research agenda to address the needs of newcomer and racialized communities across Canada, and identify effective evaluative frameworks to measure the impact of HIV health promotion initiatives in ethno-racial communities. To advance the Greater and Meaningful Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS, CAAT works actively at the provincial level with the OAN Living and Serving 3 Project to promote GIPA best practices; and locally, we worked with Dr. Josephine Wong from Ryerson University to launch a “Critical Community-Campus Research Learning Circle” that brought together 8 community peer research associates and academic students to engage in CBR related skill development.
In addition, CAAT continues to play prominent roles collaborating on many important community-based research initiatives, including:
- Employment Change & Health Outcomes in HIV/AIDS (ECHO) study (with OHTN, ACT & Toronto PWA Foundation)
- What’s in it for me? (ACT)
- Barriers and Facilitators of Research Study (OHTN)
- Keep It Alive Campaign Evaluation (ACCHO)
- Newcomer MSM resource evaluation (Black CAP/GMSH)
- Needs of Second Generations of HIV+ Youth (Hospital for Sick Children)