Prevention in Focus

Spring 2019 

The Programming Connection: Programs and resources

The Programming Connection is an online toolkit that highlights models of frontline programs that provide HIV and hepatitis C prevention, care, treatment and support services. It also features a selection of resources to help in program planning, delivery and evaluation. This toolkit aims to inspire community-based service providers to develop new practices appropriate to their circumstances and facilitate knowledge-sharing and networking.

Below is a selection of Programming Connection case studies and resources you might find useful. Visit the Programming Connection to view the full collection.

Making the Links Program

The Making the Links program seeks to improve the health of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) by addressing internal and external barriers to wellness through short-term supportive counselling and service navigation within the community. The program provides support, counselling and referrals for gbMSM who test positive for HIV or HIV-negative gbMSM who engage in behaviours that pose a high risk of HIV infection.

Positive Self-Management Program

The Positive Self-Management Program (PSMP) is an interactive six-week program for people living with HIV. Program participants and peer leaders meet once a week for a couple of hours so that participants can learn tools and skills to help them self-manage their overall health. The PSMP was developed by the Self-Management Resource Center, which provides licensing for program use, as well as evaluation and training support.


A pilot study on PositiveLinks, a mobile intervention for people with HIV, has demonstrated significant improvements in care engagement, as well as significantly improved CD4 and viral load counts. PositiveLinks uses an app that provides participants with two-way communication (e.g., daily queries related to stress), tailored educational resources, appointment reminders and a community message board. 


A study on the WelTel program out of the Oak Tree Clinic in Vancouver, B.C, indicates significantly improved adherence to ART (antiretroviral therapy) and viral load suppression in a sample of predominantly vulnerable women. The WelTel program is a mobile health (mHealth) intervention that uses two way text messaging to connect people with HIV to health care providers.


A pilot study named EASY HCV-test, consisting of a point-of-care hepatitis C testing initiative in an Italian dental clinic, shows that dental screening can be an effective way to increase hepatitis C testing. The program trained dental hygienists to perform the tests and provide pre- and post-test counselling.


A pilot study on the Fostering Open eXpression among Youth (FOXY) program, an arts-based intervention for the prevention of HIV and sexuality transmitted infections (STI), found significantly improved STI knowledge and safer sex self-efficacy among participants. The FOXY program, designed by and for Northern and Indigenous youth, uses trained facilitators and peer leaders to deliver workshops on sexual health, sexuality and healthy relationships to young women and girls aged 13-17 years.