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HIV-related stigma, community-based participatory research, qualitative research

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HIV-related stigma creates barriers to HIV testing, medication adherence, and retention in care. Guided by the principles of community-based participatory research (CBPR) and in collaboration with community health workers (CHWs), the Stigma-reduction through Education, Empowerment, and Research (SEERs) project was developed with and for youth living in Nakuru, Kenya to reduce HIV-related stigma. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the experiences of the CHWs serving as SEERs facilitators. To evaluate SEERs, 37 facilitators completed open-ended survey questions to gather their experiences and recommendations for future program implementation and sustainability. Participants’ mean age was 30.58 (standard deviation = 9.62), ranging from ages 18 to 53. Thematic content analysis was used to categorize (a) facilitators’ experiences and the community impact of the SEERs project, (b) lessons learned, and (c) challenges to sustainability. Recommendations will be used to modify the SEERs project, improve implementation and sustainability strategies, and may provide guidance for similar CBPR projects.

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Journal of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (JIAPAC), v. 18, p. 1-10

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