For a long time, there was no real prevention focus on individuals who were HIV-positive. The prevention focus was more on individuals who were HIV-negative and to come up with prevention strategies that would help them remain negative. Even though HIV-positive was included in prevention in some forms, the interventions have not always addressed issues that pertain to being HIV-positive. For instant, prevention did not focus on issues like health maintenance, discussion of serostatus with partners, how to cope with depression related being HIV, or other issues relevant for HIV-positive individual.
In 2003, the HIV Prevention Planning Council (HPPC) and HIV Health Service Planning Council (CARE Council) began discussing collaboration around the design and implementation of prevention with positives programs. The two councils came up with this definition for PWP:
Prevention with Positives is any intervention that addresses the specific prevention needs
of HIV-positive persons. HIV-positive people should be involved in the planning and implementation of all prevention with positive programs.
The main goals of prevention with positives are:
- To reduce the spread of HIV and STDs
- To help HIV-positive people achieve and maintain physical, emotional, sexual, and reproductive health and well-being
- To assist those HIV-positive people who do not know they are positive in learning their HIV status
What are the HIV prevention needs of HIV-positive persons?
- Need more complete or accurate demographic and behavioral risk profile for people living with HIV (HIV reporting may help)
- Understanding of the trends in behavior among HIV-positive individuals
- Looking at superinfection (superinfection means simultaneous infection with two or more strains of HIV)
- Looking a the impact of other health issues related and not related to HIV
- Understanding the effect of the new therapies that are helping HIV-positive people live longer and healthier, more sexually active lives
- Disclosing serostatus, sero-sorting, and strategic positioning
In 2005, the HPPC and the CARE Council joined together in a committee and developed a strategy document that addresses some of these concerns and issues for Prevention with Positives:
Strategies for Delivering
with Positives in
This document was presented and approved in late 2005 by both the HPPC and the CARE Council. It serves as both councils’ vision and guiding principles for providing Prevention with Positive services in San Francisco.