Challenges to the involvement of people living with HIV in community-based HIV/AIDS organizations in Ontario, Canada
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The Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS Principle (GIPA) has been a core commitment for many people involved in the community-based HIV/AIDS movement. GIPA refers to the inclusion of people living with HIV/AIDS in service delivery and decision-making processes that affect their lives. Despite its central importance to the movement, it has received little attention in the academic literature. Drawing on focus group discussions among staff members and volunteers of AIDS service organizations, activists, and community members, we explore challenges to the implementation of the GIPA principle in community-based HIV/AIDS organizations in Ontario, Canada. Our findings reveal ways in which implementing GIPA has become more complicated over recent years. Challenges relating to health, stigma and disclosure, evolving HIV/AIDS organizations, and GIPA-related tensions are identified. This paper considers our findings in light of previous research, and suggests some implications for practice.
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