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Guiding Frameworks


This project is informed by the theoretical perspective of intersectionality which explores and examines how various social identities, including gender, race, ethnicity, sexual preference, and socioeconomic status intersect with existing systems of oppression. This perspective endorses that these factors interact in ways that create a variety of health outcomes. MENA youth are diverse and each have various intersecting social identities that impact their experiences of health and wellness.


•GIPA - Greater Involvement of People living with HIV/AIDS.

•MEPA - Meaningful Engagement of People living with HIV/AIDS.

Is a foundation for the HIV/AIDS movement. It was first declared at the Paris Declaration in 1994 and it has been adopted in the Ontario Accord. Many people living with HIV/AIDS and several international organizations prefer the term MEPA. This change from GIPA to MEPA was a result of the experiences of People Living with HIV/AIDS (PHAs) being tokenized by organizations claiming to be committed to GIPA, rather than involving PHAs in meaningful ways where they hold prominent roles in leadership and decision making. YSMENA honours GIPA /MEPA in its values and principles.

Community-Based Research Approach

This project is also informed by community based research (CBR)   principles. All stages of this project embody CBR principles, where MENA youth partner with community leaders and researchers. From its inception, MENA youth have taken leadership on this project. Survey creation, survey dissemination, and survey analysis will be conducted by MENA youth in collaboration with the core research team and other stakeholders including service providers and researchers.  This project will also involve leadership and involvement of MENA youth with HIV. We hope that by capturing the voices and ideas of MENA youth living with HIV, we will be able to identify meaningful interventions and uphold the principle of Meaningful Involvement of People Living with HIV (MIPA).

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