In Ontario, front-line HIV workers play a critical role in knowledge translation and are an instrumental link between research literature and the people most at risk for HIV. However, the way people use and interact with HIV information is influenced by a number of factors. The current study explored the challenges that Ontario front-line HIV workers face and their successful strategies, in order to better understand how to help those at risk access and use critical HIV information. Focus groups were conducted with Ontario front-line HIV workers (n = 20). A follow-up survey was used to confirm the emergent themes with a larger sample of front-line workers (n = 51) and to collect additional information. A number of important themes emerged from these analyses. One of the biggest challenges reported by front-line workers was regarding statistical and other numeric data related to HIV risk. Many front-line workers were not comfortable discussing numeric information in their work because either they felt people would not understand, or they themselves had difficulty. The survey data confirmed this theme and provided additional information about how front-line workers best understand statistics as well as their preferred format for HIV risk information. The findings of the current study offer insights into the strengths and challenges front-line HIV workers experience in their work with those at-risk for sexually transmitted HIV. Importantly, these findings provide valuable information about how knowledge producers (e.g., researchers) and providers (e.g., federal and provincial HIV organizations) can better tailor the latest information about HIV to more effectively support front-line workers.


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pp. 261-271
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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