Rethinking ASOs?

The community-based response to HIV/AIDS has evolved significantly over the past 30 years. From bake sales to AIDS walks, from kitchen table meetings to board rooms, from helplines to one-stop health centers, and, in some cases, from HIV-only to integrated services, the response to the epidemic has shifted. These changes are due in part to the advent of new testing technologies and treatment options, as well as transformations in policy, funding and service provision contexts.

In response, a group of community-based organization representatives and academics in British Columbia and the Atlantic provinces saw an opportunity to collaborate in sharing our understanding of the shifting roles of AIDS service organizations (ASOs). We were successful in obtaining research planning funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to conduct initial research and host conversations on what further research could be done to support communities responding to these changes (full project title: Rethinking ASOs?: Responding to the End of AIDS Exceptionalism through East-West Collaboration).

The goals of the Rethinking ASOs project were process-based – to foster dialogue, to share knowledge, and to develop priorities for further research that can be acted upon together or separately, and ultimately benefit the HIV/AIDS sector. We engaged a diverse group of stakeholders in each region, including people living with HIV/AIDS, representatives of community organizations, representatives from the policy sector, and university-based academics.
As part of the preparation for in-person deliberative dialogues held in Halifax and Vancouver in November 2014, we created the following resource pages:

  1. Literature review resource page
  2. Policy mapping resource page
  3. Landscapes Project presentation

The final project report is available. This report provides an overview of the process and a summary of the dialogues in Vancouver and Halifax.

This project was made possible through an HIV/AIDS Planning Grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.