Participatory action research can be a research methodology that seeks to offer relational processes that develop high touch research relationships, create co-empowerment, while fostering resiliency and strength, within the HIV community. The Calgary HIV Social Society (CHSS) in Calgary, Alberta, Canada co-developed with peer-researchers at Mount Royal University, a progressive form of action-oriented research that allowed the HIV community to develop and provide social gatherings to reduce the impact of stigma and isolation. The research project was developed with the community of people living with HIV to reduce the impact of isolation and stigma. The focus of the research was to better understand how social gatherings could improve the quality of life for those living with HIV. The action-oriented methodology allowed for HIV peer-researchers to bring their expertise on what was needed to reduce stigma and isolation. The HIV social support community created participatory action research processes that successfully contributed to building an inclusive, community for people living with HIV. This paper will share the themes that acknowledge the significant impact that a HIV high touch relationship research community can have for those, who face the barriers of isolation and stigma by increasing community connection, reducing financial constraints that limit participation, while increasing mental health wellness.
participatory action research, social gatherings, co-empowerment, HIV, stigma, isolation, high touch research relationships
We would like to thank all of the people that participated in the social gatherings. Their participation helped us to understand the importance of providing a safe, accepting and barrier free space to gather and explore the meaning of living beyond HIV-focused stigma, while reducing isolation.
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Recommended APA Citation
miller, p. m., Oliver, B., Lapointe, K., Samson, K., Berezowski, K., Nelson, K., & anonymous, K. (2021). High Touch Research: Building Community for Those Living with HIV. The Qualitative Report, 26(9), 2837-2850. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2021.4857