Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS: Longitudinal Women’s Needs Assessment (SHAWNA)

Summary: Building of ongoing partnerships and community-based research with women living with HIV since 2005, and extensive consultation with community, clinical and policy experts over 6months+, SHAWNA was officially launched in 2015 and actively follows over 350 cis and trans women living with HIV on semi-annual visits. SHAWNA includes both a community-based longitudinal cohort (semi-annual community-administered interview questionnaire and a clinical sexual health research visit) and qualitative/ arts-based research component. Eligibility is cis/trans youth / woman (14years+) who live and/or access services in Metro Vancouver. Women are recruited to SHAWNA through women’s HIV provider and key HIV providers (Oak Tree), self-referral, peer research associate team, and community outreach.

SHAWNA is committed to MIPA/GIPA principles of meaningful inclusion and great involvement of women living with HIV. Since inception, women with lived experience play a key role across the project from community interviewers to Peer Research Associates and co-authors.  

Research Objectives: SHAWNA overall research objectives are to understand the interpersonal, social and structural factors shaping women’s HIV outcomes and experiencing navigating care through their lifetime. 

Principal Investigators: Dr. Kate Shannon, Dr. Andrea Krüsi, Dr. Kathleen Deering

Oak Tree Site PI: Dr. Mary Kestler

Key Team Members: Sarah Moreheart, Brittney Udall, Florence Ranville, Jennifer McDermid

Partners/Advisory: Oak Tree Clinic/BC Women’s Hospital, YouthCO, Afro-Canadian Positive Network of BC, Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network, Positive Living, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Positive Haven, McLaren House

Funders: CIHR, MAC AIDS Foundation