CAN Community Health Logo

Peer Navigators

Peer Navigators are trained individuals from the community who are People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Peer Navigators will assist in promoting treatment adherence and foster trust in the individual's health care. They help clients navigate the intimidating world of HIV treatment and services by providing a range of support activities that include but are not limited to:

  • Explaining the basics of HIV and self-care to the newly diagnosed
  • Connecting people with needed services
  • Assisting with appointment reminders
  • In some cases, accompanying clients to appointments
  • Acting as a liaison between clients and their care providers

The presence of the peer navigator can help close the gap between healthcare providers and people who need help adapting to a treatment plan.

Through shared backgrounds, culture, language, and knowledge of the community, peer navigators can relate to clients in a way that health care workers often cannot. Peer navigators offer encouragement and emotional support by:

  • Listening to clients’ concerns and sharing similar experiences
  • Offering strategies for incorporating medications and diet changes into a client’s daily routine
  • Serving as a “voice of experience” by proactively addressing and discussing shared medical issues
  • Modeling health behaviors
  • Facilitating support and education groups like HIV basics, how and when to disclose, understanding your labs and a monthly Women’s Chat Room.