Digging Deep: Examining the Root Causes of HIV/AIDS Among Aboriginal Women is a study funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR). All Nations Hope Network, in partnership with Morning Star Lodge, are interviewing Aboriginal women who have tested positive for HIV/AIDS and/or Hepatitis C, or are at high risk of contracting either. Conducting the interviews at All Nations Hope Network in Regina, Saskatchewan the researchers hope to gain insights into Aboriginal women’s experiences with health services and share their stories. The study began in 2014 and will conclude in 2018.

Research Goal and Objectives: Our goal was to focus on Aboriginal women and their life experience as part of helping the women and All Nations Hope Network develop evidence-based, community solutions that are culturally safe and focussed on strengths and assets of the women we worked with. Our specific objectives were:

1) Understanding the complex Aboriginal determinants of health that interact to produce higher rates of injection drug use, HIV infection, and Hepatitis C among Aboriginal women, particularly those who are identified as hard to engage and those who have not been tested;

2) Developing a model of culturally safe care;

3) Increasing the research capacity of All Nations Hope Network (ANHN) – formerly All Nations Hope AIDS Network (ANHAN) and the broader Aboriginal community in Regina;

4) Developing educational videos to accompany the culturally safe care model and enhancing the understanding of cultural safety for Aboriginal women living with HIV, AIDS and HCV.

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