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.

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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 (longitudinal cohort), Dr. Andrea Krüsi (qualitative/arts-based)

Oak Tree Site PI: Dr. Mary Kestler

Research Project Staff: Elissa Aikema, Tara Axl-Rose, Desire King, Dana Krementz, Emma Kuntz (Project Coordinator), Melanie Lee, Lois Luo, Patience Magagula, Kat Mortimer, Candice Norris, Alex Martin, Colleen Thompson (Assistant Coordinator), Larissa Wakatsuki, Akanée Yamaki (Assistant Coordinator).

Research Project Students & Research Assistants: Colleen Dockerty, Carol He, Parisa Kabir, Sophia Ly, Mika Ohtsuka, Harper Perrin, Lisa Zhang

Supporting Team Members: Peter Vann, Yinong Zhao


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