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NMAC Releases First-Ever National Assessment of PrEP and HIV Navigators

NMAC, in conjunction with the NIH National Library of Medicine, has released the National PrEP and HIV Navigation Landscape Assessment, the first attempt to provide a current understanding of how navigators are providing or can provide vital services to consumers at each stage of the HIV Care Continuum. The Assessment is available on NMAC’s website.

Among the assessment’s findings:

  • HIV Navigators are an integral part of the HIV Care Continuum at all stages.

  • Work settings of HIV Navigators range from street outreach to “shooting galleries,” first responder and acute care facilities, and long-term care facilities.

  • In addition to their regular duties, HIV Navigators are expected to keep up to date on the latest PrEP and HIV science through trainings and other resources; professionalize and standardize their work duties and responsibilities; and continually adhere to shifting policies, regulations, standards, and guidelines while remaining flexible to changing local organization and community-based norms and expectations.

  • Common HIV Navigator job requirements include: Experience with high risk populations in community settings; culturally and linguistically competent client engagement skills; and familiarity with linkage to medical and other social support services.

“Ending AIDS must be more than a slogan,” said NMAC Executive Director Paul Kawata. “It requires real plans, community mobilization, funding, and collaboration between the communities highly impacted by HIV, community based organizations, health departments, healthcare providers, researchers, industry, people living with HIV, activists, feds, and people on PrEP. This assessment is intended to help CBOs and health departments better understand the current state of the art for PrEP and HIV navigators.”

“The National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognize that it is critical to engage the community in an effort to enhance understanding of unmet information needs of specific populations who are disproportionately infected and affected by HIV/AIDS,” said Nicole Scott of the Outreach and Special Populations Branch of NLM. “This report provides a foundation for understanding the information needs of those who are at the frontline of providing patients with reliable and accurate HIV and PrEP resources for the diverse communities they serve. We want to arm HIV and PrEP navigators with the knowledge, skills and technical means to access and provide the most up-to-date and authoritative prevention, treatment and research information so that communities are linked to the best care.”

The assessment was conducted through a combination of techniques, including: a Navigator Needs and Resources Assessment, completed by nearly more than 200 participants at the 2016 National HIV PrEP Summit; a literature review; a National Landscape Survey completed by 745 respondents who provide PrEP and HIV navigation services in community organizations or other professional entities; site visits at 10 facilities; and key informant interviews with more than 20 providers.