HIV Peer Educators

In the fall of 2002, the Peer Educator program was started at the AIDS Resource Center in order to address the need for HIV+ persons to be better advocates for themselves and others with the virus. The purpose of the program is to educate and empower HIV+ persons to carry out normal daily activities, take a more active informed role in their medical treatment and manage the emotional ups and down of living with HIV/AIDS. The program has had two Peer Educators as part of its Patient Safety and Clinical Pharmacy Services (PSPC) collaborative team with HRSA since 2008. In January 2010, the program met its goal of incorporating Peer Educators as integral members of a clinical care team at its clinic in Three Rivers. The 2 Peer Educators who were on the PSPC team began coming to clinic to meet with clients one on one to provide education and support. The program calls its Peer Educators Peer Coaches in the clinic setting. The program has one male and one female Peer Coach and they alternate at the two monthly clinics. In June of 2011, the program spread up to its clinic on the Eastern Shore.