Peer Navigator Effectiveness for HIV Prevention in Street-Involved & Homeless Youth

Reaching street-involved and homeless youth (SIY) and enabling them to make use of the many evidence-based HIV prevention and treatment interventions like antiretrovirals (ART) is critical to achieving the global goal declared by the United Nations of zero new infections and zero HIV deaths by 2030. Canadian sites (London, Toronto, Vancouver) and Kenyan sites (Pioneer and Kitale) all have many underserved SIY who bear a high burden of uncontrolled HIV. This study proposes to adapt and scale-up a peer-based intervention among SIY in these centres to increase uptake of HIV prevention, testing, and treatment as needed.

The objectives of the phase 1 of the study are:
Objective 1: Evaluate and explore the acceptability and appropriateness of the Peer Navigator (PN) intervention from the perspectives of SIY, healthcare providers, and community stakeholders.

Objective 2: Characterize the adaptations needed in the intervention in and across the local contexts and to describe community-informed enhancements needed to make the intervention work well in each setting in terms of linkage to HIV services.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Alex Abramovich (Toronto)

Principal Investigator (Vancouver Site): Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc

Co-Investigators: Dr. Abe Oudshoorn (London, Ontario), Dr. David Ayuku (Huruma, Kenya)

Research Team (Vancouver Site):
Dr. Monica Rana, Managing Director, SARAVYC, School of Nursing, UBC
Shannon Srivastava, Research Assistant, SARAVYC, School of Nursing, UBC
James Sinclair, Research Assistant, SARAVYC, School of Nursing, UBC

Funded by: CIHR “Adapting and scaling up “Peer Navigators” to targeted populations of street-involved youth in Canada and Kenya to increase linkage to HIV prevention, testing, and treatment”