PHA Training Programs in Toronto

Toronto Community Planning Initiative & Committee for Accessible AIDS Treatment, March 2008

People living with HIV/AIDS (PHAs) have been at the forefront of Ontario’s HIV/AIDS movement since the beginning of the epidemic. Over the years the populations affected by HIV/AIDS have become increasingly diverse and their needs have also become increasingly complex.

Various organizations and networks have developed many innovative program initiatives and training activities to ensure and promote the greater involvement and leadership of PHAs in addressing the different social determinants affecting their health and well being. This occurred in response to the changing needs of PHAs and the development of the Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV (GIPA) principles.

In addition, recent community planning initiatives and research studies conducted by the Toronto Community Planning Initiative Education & Training Working Group, the Committee for Accessible AIDS Treatment and the OHTN’s Living & Serving II study, all identified and highlighted the need to have enhanced planning and coordination on PHA capacity building and training initiatives. This requires the development of strategies that will help improve PHA participation and leadership; enhance their physical and mental health; and improve service delivery and coordination in Toronto.

It is recognized that amongst the richness of the programming initiatives related to PHA capacity building, there are significant gaps in comprehensive planning, limited coordination in areas including program collaboration, quality assurance and knowledge transfer, and little formal recognition and deployment by potential employers and organizations for PHAs trained through all these community based training initiatives.

This document is the result of a call to community organizations to submit any PHA training programs that their organization is providing to PHAs in Toronto. Once we know where we are at, the community will be able to strategize around initiating programs that will fill the gaps.