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

Building on ongoing partnerships and community-based research with women living with HIV since 2005 as well as extensive consultation with community, clinical and policy experts, SHAWNA was officially launched in 2015. The project actively follows over 350 cis and trans women living with HIV in Metro Vancouver through 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 a qualitative arts-based research component.

SHAWNA focuses on cis and trans youth and women (14+) who live and/or access services in Metro Vancouver, recruiting through women’s HIV providers, other key HIV providers (Oak Tree Clinic), self-referral, our peer research associate team, and community outreach. We are committed to MIPA/GIPA principles of meaningful inclusion and great involvement of women living with HIV. Women with lived experience have played a key role since the project’s inception, serving as community interviewers, Peer Research Associates and co-authors.  

Research Objectives

To understand the interpersonal, social and structural factors shaping women’s HIV outcomes and experiences navigating care through their lifetime.



CGSHE PIs: Dr. Kathleen Deering, Dr. Andrea Krüsi (qualitative/arts-based)

Oak Tree Site PI: Dr. Mary Kestler

Key Team Members:  Elissa Aikema, Zoe Hassall, Dana Krementz, Emma KuntzLois Luo, Lauren McCrawDesire TibashobokaBrittney Udall (Project Coordinator), Akanée Yamaki

Supporting Team Members: Melissa BraschelShannon Bundock, Sylvia Machat, Peter Vann


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


Canadian Institutes for Health Research, MAC AIDS Foundation