HIV peer counseling and the development of hope: perspectives from peer counselors and peer counseling recipients

AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2007 Nov;21(11):843-60. doi: 10.1089/apc.2006.0207.


Peer counseling is becoming an increasingly viable treatment option when working with people living with HIV and AIDS, especially during the diagnostic process. Unfortunately, little research has looked at the perceived benefits of peer counseling from the perspectives of clients receiving the services and those providing the services. In addition, research suggests that hope can help people living with HIV to deal with the HIV diagnosis and to improve their lifestyles; however, the authors were unable to locate any research exploring the benefits of peer counseling in fostering the hope of people living with HIV/AIDS. The present paper, following a community-based research paradigm embedded within a qualitative case study methodology explores the benefits of peer support counseling from the perspective of 12 participants living with HIV who have had experiences with peer counseling. Participants identified several thematic benefits of peer support counseling, including the role of peer counselors in the process of fostering hope. Roles and benefits of peer counseling, in relation to the facilitation of hope for people living with HIV/AIDS, suggest potentially interesting implications for future research and practice in HIV/AIDS care.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Canada
  • Counseling*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • HIV Infections / rehabilitation*
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morale
  • Peer Group*
  • Social Support*