Developing HIV Literacy: Working with communities to support well-being in the context of biomedical HIV prevention
New biomedical options to prevent HIV are emerging as recent clinical trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of using existing HIV treatment for prevention. This means that preventing the sexual transmission of HIV is no longer only about enabling the reduction of risky sexual practices. It is also reliant on increasingly complex prevention methods such as the use of clinical biomarkers (viral loads), monitoring and supporting treatment adherence, and engaging communities at risk more generally with this new biomedical technology. This complex HIV prevention landscape requires improved capacity in clinical HIV literacy, yet evidence has identified inequalities in HIV literacy amongst those most affected by HIV. As part of Ingrid Young’s CSO Research Fellowship, this research aims to improve HIV literacy amongst MSM and African communities within the context of biomedical HIV prevention. This will be achieved through the development and feasibility testing of an HIV literacy intervention programme. This intervention will be developed in collaboration with practitioner and community stakeholders and delivered through a programme of techniques and tools tailored to target groups (MSM and African peer groups and sero-discordant couples). Intervention development will consider how social and structural inequalities affect HIV literacy, and how improving HIV literacy can enable resilience in a dynamic sexual health environment. Outcomes of this feasibility study will inform larger evaluation and implementation.