Recapping the role of peer navigators

Peer navigation is a critical part of the support environment for all people living with HIV.

It helps people living with HIV navigate complex health and social systems. It helps them connect and build resilience. It helps break down isolation and loneliness.

In the core Peer Navigator modules you learned about important elements of your role.

When supporting all people living with HIV, including older people, it is important to:

  • Maintain personal and professional boundaries (Module 1, Self Work)
  • Practice self-reflection (Module 1, Self Work)
  • Deliver values-based practice that is person-centred, trauma-informed and culturally safe (Module 2, Client Work)
  • Use good communication skills and active listening (Module 2, Client Work)
  • Assess and meet needs (Module 2, Client Work)
  • Work within your scope of practice (Module 3, Organisation Work)
  • Manage your duty of care (Module 3, Organisation Work)
  • Protect confidentiality, facilitate disclosures and ensure consent (Module 3, Organisation Work)
  • Recognise your power (Module 3, Organisation Work)

“The most important thing you can do is show an interest in the person. Not just the technical stuff – show empathy, sit and listen, take time to be unhurried, be flexible.” Advocate

The main role of the Peer Navigator is to listen, support, link and advocate.

  • Listen to the background, hopes, fears, expectations and challenges of the older person living with HIV. Understand how these shape past and current experience and feelings about the future
  • Support the older person living with HIV to identify their needs and preferences now and into the future
  • Link the older person to information, supports and specialist services that can best meet their current and future needs
  • Advocate to ensure needs are met in a safe and timely way

Through these approaches, Peer Navigators provide a range of psychosocial supports that complement other support services offered to people living with HIV.


Watch this video about the Living Positive Victoria Taking charge project and the role of HIV Peer Navigators (1:55):

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