Evaluation of the AIDS Prevention Street Nurse Program: One Step at a Time
B. Ann Hilton
The AIDS Prevention Street Nurse Program uses specially prepared community health nurses to focus on HIV and STD prevention with marginalized, hard-to-reach and high-risk clients within a broader context of harm reduction and health promotion. Street nurses (n = 17), service providers (n = 30), representatives of other HIV/STD programs in the province of British Columbia, Canada (N = 5), and clients (n = 32) were interviewed during an evaluation for the purpose of describing the nurses' work, the challenges the nurses' face, the fit of the program with other services, and the impact of the nurses' work. This article describes the impact of the nurses' work on clients. Impact/outcome changes reflected a progression from knowledge to behavioural levels and to major indicators of health/illness. Impact on clients included: knowing more about HIV/AIDS, their own situation, and options; receiving essential supplies to reduce harm and promote health; changing behaviour to reduce disease transmission, improve resistance, and promote health; connecting with help; feeling better about themselves and others; feeling supported; influencing others; receiving earlier attention for problems; being healthier with or without HIV; making major changes in drug use; and likely decreasing morbidity and mortality. The Program was found to be clearly effective in making a positive impact on clients.
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