GIPA in Practice – the Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV (GIPA) is central to the response to HIV.
As with many countries, the Australian response to HIV is characterised by an active partnership between PLHIV, the community sector, researchers, clinicians and government. To maintain this commitment and to deepen the understanding of QoL of PLHIV, the PozQoL study was conducted using an approach embedded in the Greater Involvement of People with HIV/AIDS (GIPA) principles of a direct partnership with peer-led organisations representing PLHIV.
A partnership of PLHIV peer organisations, researchers, and health industry was established to pool resources and develop the PozQoL scale. Peer-led PLHIV organisations were involved in all aspects of the PozQoL study, including the conceptualisation and prioritisation of the domains, development of items, and decisions concerning the refinement of the final scale. Following GIPA principles enabled the study to ensure the research rigour was complemented by practical and conceptual considerations, and high community engagement.
The term ‘Poz’ is a colloquial term used in a number of western countries to refer to HIV Positive people in the context of empowerment and self-determination. The term is used primarily by peer based PLHIV organisations, including those involved in this study. It was incorporated into PozQoL to reflect the strong PLHIV leadership within the study.