Navigating 2020: Rapid Adaptations in HIV Peer Support Services

About the Authors

Sara Graham is the Manager of Peer Support at Living Positive Victoria. She coordinates its Peer Navigation Program and services for women, heterosexual men, and families.

Timothy Krulic is a PhD candidate at ARCSHS. His doctoral research is based on an implementation study of the Peer Navigation Program.

Living Positive Victoria is a peer-based community organisation that supports people living with HIV. The organisation was a pilot site for the W3 Project and established systems to monitor and evaluate its peer programs in collaboration with ARCSHS.

As a result, Living Positive Victoria was well positioned to pivot quickly in response to COVID-19. In this article Sara and Timothy discuss the adaptations its innovative Peer Navigation Program made to support and engage clients throughout 2020.

W3 project

Moments of creativity and connection — Supporting people living with HIV during COVID-19

About the Author

Timothy Krulic is a health promotion officer at Living Positive Victoria and PhD candidate at ARCSHS

Living Positive Victoria is a peer-led organisation. They provide support and services for people in Victoria who are living with, or affected by, HIV. Timothy produces health promotion content for members and works across peer education, support, research, and evaluation.

Peer-led organisations are highly responsive to their communities’ needs. This is because most staff and leadership are community members — peers. As the W3 Framework shows us, peer skill is central to a peer-led organisation’s work. It drives their ability to stay closely attuned — and adapt so effectively — to their communities’ changing needs. We have seen a lot of this since the start of COVID-19.

We invited Timothy to share his insights on the impacts of COVID-19 lockdowns on people living with HIV. His post is a heart-warming testament to how critical peer-led responses are in times like these.

About the Author

Timothy Krulic is a health promotion officer at Living Positive Victoria and PhD candidate at ARCSHS

Living Positive Victoria is a peer-led organisation. They provide support and services for people in Victoria who are living with, or affected by, HIV. Timothy produces health promotion content for members and works across peer education, support, research, and evaluation.

Peer-led organisations are highly responsive to their communities’ needs. This is because most staff and leadership are community members — peers. As the W3 Framework shows us, peer skill is central to a peer-led organisation’s work. It drives their ability to stay closely attuned — and adapt so effectively — to their communities’ changing needs. We have seen a lot of this since the start of COVID-19.

We invited Timothy to share his insights on the impacts of COVID-19 lockdowns on people living with HIV. His post is a heart-warming testament to how critical peer-led responses are in times like these.

Adaptation Engagement

Want to improve the hepatitis C response? People who inject drugs have key insights

About the Author

Dr Susan Chong is a Senior Lecturer in La Trobe University’s Department of Public Health and a Senior Research Fellow on ARCSHS’ Peer Insights Project.

The Project was a collaboration with peer organisations working with people who use drugs. Susan’s work focussed on translating their knowledge into resources to help improve Australia’s hepatitis C response.

The W3 Framework shows the importance of peer skill and the expertise that comes from lived experience. Insights from peer-led drug-user organisations are often our only source of real-time knowledge about emerging community trends and needs. It is vital for the sector to recognise and act on these valuable strategic insights.

In the lead up to World Hepatitis Day, we invited Susan to share some reflections about her exciting and important work.

Alignment Engagement Influence Peer Skill