CAB members discuss community engagement & dissemination at 2017 Bay Area HIV Health Disparities Symposium

On March 24th, the 2017 Annual Bay Area HIV Health Disparities Symposium took place at UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay. Andrew Reynolds and Jesse Brooks led the following presentation on behalf of the CAPS/PRC Community Advisory Board in the morning session: “Community Engagement and Research Dissemination: The Role of Community Advisory Boards.”

Download/view presentation here.

BACKGROUND: Research is essential for the creation of innovative programs for the prevention and treatment of HIV and hepatitis C, as well as in addressing health disparities overall. Research that does not address the material conditions and lived realities of the populations being studied is ineffective, and research results that do not reach them will not make a difference in their lives.

METHODS: The CAPS/PRC Community Advisory Board (CAB) comprises a diverse array of stakeholders from Bay Area agencies and its representative communities. Its mission is to channel community input into the CAPS/PRC research agenda and initiate special projects aimed to help HIV prevention science reach the stakeholders and community. The CAB is charged with providing leadership and community input into CAPS/PRC research, alerting researchers to important issues and needs in the community, and helping with the dissemination of the results to the communities that have been studied and/or stakeholders who are most impacted by the research.

RESULTS: The CAB has provided support to UCSF researchers and has made recommendations on all aspects of the research process from problem formulation and peer review of grant submission to dissemination of results. The role of the CAPS/PRC CAB in this supportive capacity is evidenced by key examples from representative Bay Area focused studies and key dissemination activities for researchers to return their work to the communities they work with.

CONCLUSION: Engaging the community with an open platform for providing input to all aspects of research from problem formulation, intervention development and research dissemination lead to more meaningful involvement from study participants and more relevant results for their respective communities. Working with a CAB to develop and guide research and to disseminate findings to the community is an important component that should be integrated in all research studies aimed at addressing health disparities.