Evolution of an International Research Collaborative in HIV and Rehabilitation: Community Engaged Process, Lessons Learned, and Recommendations.
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BACKGROUND: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is increasingly considered a chronic illness. Rehabilitation can address some of the health challenges of people living with HIV (PLWHIV); however, the field is emerging. OBJECTIVES: We describe our experience establishing an international collaborative in HIV and rehabilitation research using a community engaged approach. METHODS: The Canada-UK (now Canada-International) HIV and Rehabilitation Research Collaborative (CIHRRC) is a network of more than 85 PLWHIV, researchers, clinicians, and representatives from community-based organizations collectively working to advance knowledge on HIV and rehabilitation. RESULTS: Activities and outcomes include facilitating knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE), establishing and strengthening multistakeholder partnerships, and identifying new and emerging priorities in the field. Collaboration and support from community organizations fostered mechanisms to raise the profile of, and evidence for, rehabilitation in the context of HIV. Considerations of scope, partnership, and sustainability are important. We offer recommendations for developing an international community-academic-clinical research collaborative using a community-engaged approach. CONCLUSIONS: Research networks involving community-academic-clinical partnerships can help to promote KTE and establish a coordinated response for addressing priorities in an emerging field.
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