The purpose of this training program is to increase the knowledge and skills of HIV-positive adolescents and young people to live physically and emotionally healthy lives and to be able to express their sexuality in a manner that is both safe and satisfying and without shame about their HIV status, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
The training is designed ideally to be conducted by peers (adolescents and young adults living with HI) or near-peers (older HIV-positive individuals who were infected at a young age).
Peers are already engaged in the education and delivery of supportive services to people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) around the globe. Peers are essential educators and service providers, because:
- people tend to trust those who share similar experiences, especially the experience of people living with HIV;
- peer education programs have been proven to improve HIV treatment outcomes for PLWHA;
- community empowerment and advocacy work may be furthered and enhanced; and
- individuals who have been trained by peers frequently report feeling more empowered to take charge or effect positive changes in their lives.
The training includes both didactic presentations and interactive exercises meant to elaborate on and deepen understanding of the didactic portions.
This training program is made possible thanks to a collaborative effort between the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).