BC Lung Association
Community-Based Needs Assessment HIV+ People

Without trust,
there is no understanding.

When Context was enlisted to assess the risk awareness of chronic lung disease among people living with HIV, we turned to the community itself to help us gather insight – recognizing that information shared among peers would be more meaningful than any information we could have gathered on our own.



As people with HIV live longer lives, they have also become increasingly susceptible to chronic lung disease. Recognizing the escalating need to investigate strategies in chronic disease prevention among HIV-positive people, the BC Lung Association approached Context to conduct an assessment of the awareness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and its links to smoking among HIV-positive people and their healthcare practitioners.

Aware of the importance of taking a community-based research approach, we partnered with Positive Living BC to train and work with members of the HIV-positive community to help us conduct our research with their peers. We worked with the community to develop, test and implement online surveys and focus groups to gain an in-depth understanding of the issues in chronic disease prevention for people living with HIV, and their take on strategies to increase awareness and action towards healthy living.

The information gathered through these peer-facilitated sessions offered us far more perspective and insight than we could have ever obtained on our own as an outsider entering the community. This project experience within community-based research has allowed Context to translate innovative, participatory research methods into other recent evaluative and research-based work in the community.
  • “I think the way you folks are doing it is, is really effective… I mean, you’re educating a lot of people, and people are coming in, and… it may be for the food or the money at first, but then people tend to get educated a little more. Like I’m a lot more informed now than I was when I walked in here, and I think it’s pretty effective, what you’re doing.”
    HIV+ man, smoker, Vancouver