‘Exploring Being Well Together’: Maternal & Infant Health Equity in the Context of HIV

Research co-leads: 

  • Laura Sauve
    University of British Columbia  
  • Dr. Alison Gerlach
    University of Victoria 

Research user co-lead:

  • Matthew Carwana
    BC Children's Hospital, University of British Columbia  

Team members:

  • Diana Elliott
    Aboriginal Infant Development Program
  • Amanda Tallio
  • Elder Roberta Price Vancouver Coastal Health, University of British Columbia
  • Jenny Morgan 
    C&W Indigenous Health Programme
  • Rochelle Lesueur  
    C&W Indigenous Health Programme
  • Dr. Ariane Alimenti
  • Dr. Tatiana Sotindjo
  • Nicci Stein
    Teresa Group, Aids Service Organization in Ontario

The aim of this project is to mobilize knowledge on supporting maternal wellbeing and the early health and development of infants in British Columbia (BC) who are affected by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and social marginalization. The health and wellbeing of women living with HIV is impacted by social marginalization that can influence their engagement with healthcare and social services for themselves and their children. Children born to mothers living with HIV, are 'HIV exposed but uninfected' (HEU) and have an increased risk of developmental delays compared to the general child population

Children's health and health equity is inseparable from the wellbeing of their primary caregiver(s) and family as a whole. Children's equitable access to health and early years services during the critical early years can improve their long term neurodevelopmental and health trajectory. However, quality assurance and anecdotal evidence suggest that few HEU infants connect with services outside of their HIV care.

Through this project we will engage with mothers with lived experiences, frontline service delivery stakeholders from various community-based organizations that support maternal and infant wellbeing, Elders, HIV advocacy organizations, involved pediatricians and health authority and provincial policymakers