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EMPOWERMENT AND CAPACITY BUILDING FOR AFRICAN AND CARIBBEAN WOMEN LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS IN TORONTO: AN EVIDENCE-BASED SERVICE DELIVERY MODEL
M Muchenje, WE Tharao, L Soje, F Ongoiba, A Laziri, E Guzha, K Justine
Objective: To highlight: the process used to develop an evidence based service delivery model for African and Caribbean women living with HIV/AIDS in Toronto; issues incorporated in the model; structure and impacts of the model on empowerment and capacity building.
1. Information to build the model was obtained through literature review/search of existing service delivery models, research studies/reports written on issues affecting African and Caribbean women and previous and current efforts to provide treatment, support and care for African and Caribbean women living with HIV/AIDS Toronto.
2. A one year pilot project was developed, implemented and evaluated.
3. A three year multi-pronged project based on the pilot was developed and implemented.
Results: An intersecting, multi-faceted anti-oppression framework was used to ground the model; Multi-pronged program deliverables tailored to the service delivery needs of the target population were developed: i) a culturally appropriate video/documentary highlighting the challenges/struggles and successes of eight African and Caribbean women living with HIV/AIDS in Canada and a users guide to serve as support and HIV prevention tool(s) for women and their providers; ii) A series of educational/capacity building workshops dealing with issues that are relevant to the target population were implemented. Topics covered include treatment related issues; impacts(s) of disclosure/non disclosure; sex, sexuality and prevention of secondary transmission; child rearing; end of life issues; poverty/employment and re-training, etc iii) Safe environment where women could network, share information and discuss issues facing them. Model is partnership based, is delivered by six several organizations and maximizes on the strength of each organization.
Conclusions: Proposed model increases access and effectiveness of services provided through strengthening women's ability to develop effective coping mechanisms, self advocacy skills, ability to navigate healthcare, immigration and social service systems through coordination of services and reduction of access barriers to information and services.