Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)


Social Work


Saara Greene




Within Canada, the HIV/AIDS community is an extensively researched population where people living with HIV/AIDS (PHA) are minimally included in the research process. Community-based research (CBR) has become a widely recognized framework with which to engage in HIV/AIDS research in a response to the need for research frameworks that promote equitable collaboration between community members and community researchers. Coupled with a CBR approach, the Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS (GIPA) principle can be incorporated into the research process so that the research is reflective of and responsive to community needs. Drawing on the experiences of five HIV/AIDS community researchers, this study seeks to better understand the tensions and challenges community researchers experience when facilitating CBR with participants with whom they identify with based on race, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status, and HIV status. Within the findings, several themes were explored by participants. The concept of multiple identities was predominately explored as well as the complexities regarding insider and outsider status. Participants also explored the tensions associated with maintaining confidentiality as well as discussing coping and self care practices. Expectations of community members and the research team were highlighted, and participants provided advice or recommendations based on their reflections of their personal experiences of engaging the CBR process. The themes explored by this particular group of community researchers demonstrate the complexities associated with their unique positioning within the research process. As the CBR approach is increasingly being utilized and recognized as an effective tool within a community research context, it is important as practitioners to be mindful of the challenges and benefits of facilitating CBR.

McMaster University Library

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Social Work Commons