HIV prevention from indigenous youth perspectives




Leis, Genevieve

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This qualitative study of six Indigenous youth HIV prevention peer educators is presented to help understand how Indigenous youth perceive HIV/AIDS education. The research used a semi-structured questionnaire as a guide to conducting in depth individual interviews. The research followed decolonizing methodologies to explore the views of peer educators about the HIV/AIDS education they delivered, and the issues around perceptions of infection and risk. It examines the youth’s views on peer education, the importance of cultural revitalization in relation to health education and how peer education can be most effective. This study has included examples of programs with marginalized communities in several parts of the world and compared them with Indigenous experiences in Canada, in order to develop an understanding and recommendations of the most effective approaches in Indigenous youth health interventions. There have been very few research studies on Indigenous youth involvement in STD interventions. Indigenous youth have only been marginally included in the design of most of the social programming they receive, even though they have the unique knowledge, skills, language and cultural perspective necessary to reach their peers. HIV infection is on the rise with Indigenous youth because of historical and ongoing socio-economic and political inequities. Therefore, it is crucial that young Indigenous people be welcomed as integral participants in the strategies for improving Indigenous health.



Indigenous, Aboriginal, First Nations, HIV, AIDS, Health, Youth, Peer, Education, Prevention, Interventions, Outreach