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The purpose of this toolkit is to help organisations implement peer navigation programmes that will help engage HIV-positive members of key populations in HIV care and support services, retain them in care, and support their adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) to achieve viral suppression The toolkit was developed by the Linkages Across the Continuum of HIV Services for Key Populations Affected by HIV (LINKAGES) Project, which is using a comprehensive package of activities (including peer navigation) to ensure that key populations (KP) - sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender people, and people who inject drugs - can access HIV prevention, care, and treatment services in an environment that is free of stigma and discrimination and that respects their rights. The project does this by increasing HIV testing, linking HIV-positive KP members with treatment and care, and connecting HIV-negative KP members with services that will help them remain HIV negative (see Related Summary below for more information).

Trained LINKAGES peer navigators work as part of a team of providers within a network of services to ensure that their beneficiaries effectively access the full range of clinical and psychosocial services available to them, and maintain healthy, positive lives. As explained in the guides, “Peer navigators work full time as part of a case management team to assist HIV-positive service beneficiaries in enrolling in and accessing care and treatment services, while supporting them to identify and overcome barriers that interfere with achieving personal health-related goals.” Peer navigation picks up from where peer outreach traditionally leaves off, which is usually when a beneficiary accesses counselling and testing services or, for those already living with HIV, when he or she enrols or re-enrols in care and treatment. The goal for peer navigation is that newly diagnosed individuals are supported to enrol in treatment and remain within the service network to achieve viral suppression. Peers are people who share similar attributes, such as gender, sexual orientation, age, health condition, or socioeconomic status. For example, the LINKAGES project typically trains peer navigators who are living with HIV and within a specific KP community, so that they have an intimate understanding of the lived experience of the peers they support.

The toolkit consists of the following two key documents:

  • Peer Navigation for Key Populations Implementation Guide - programme managers and peer navigators can use this document as a starting point to determine how their peer navigation programmes will function within the larger service network. Programmes should develop their own set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and client flow algorithms to accompany this guide.
  • Peer Navigation Training Facilitators Guide - Core Modules - provides a variety of materials and instructions on how to build a custom training curriculum for peer navigators in a community. The primary audiences of the guide are experienced trainers and training organisations who can use the guide and accompanying materials (see below) to design, enhance, or refine their own training of peer navigators. A second audience - supervisors or programme directors and the organisations that host peer programmes - can use these materials to plan a training programme for newly hired peer navigators or to provide continuing education for existing navigators. A third audience consists of policymakers, planners, and funders who can use the guide to help plan or fund peer navigator training activities in their countries or communities. The core modules cover the following: 1) HIV knowledge (including HIV life cycle, medications, adherence, resistance, risk, and harm reduction); 2) Communication skills (including listening skills, open-ended questions, styles of communication, cultural awareness, and nonjudgmental behaviours); and 3) Clear understanding of roles and responsibilities (including workplace expectations, boundaries, confidentiality, counselling, navigating the health care system, working as part of a case management team, communicating with providers, readiness to be a peer, and self-care).

In addition, the toolkit includes (links and documents are provided in the Facilitator’s Guide):

  • Participant handouts - these include key information for each training session and a complete set of tools that navigators can use to develop action plans with their beneficiaries, provide support and referrals, and monitor progress.
  • Presentations - These editable PowerPoint slides have been kept simple so that they can be modified to fit a variety of contexts.
  • Sample forms and guidance - These documents may be adapted by programme designers, managers, and implementers to assist peer navigators to provide appropriate services for their beneficiaries and monitor their beneficiaries’ outcomes.
  • Sample terms of reference for peer navigators - Programme managers can use a terms of reference document to ensure that navigators understand their roles within a services network.

Click here to download the 70-page Implementation Guide in PDF format.

Click here to download the 151-page Facilitators Guide in PDF format.

Free to download