There is widespread and growing recognition that peer-delivered interventions can play a significant role in improving health outcomes, especially for patients living with complex chronic health or behavioral health conditions. The effectiveness of Peer Workers is rooted in the fact that these workers share a common “lived experience” with clients. As a result, Peer Workers have a unique capacity to provide targeted services that can inspire, empower and support clients living with, or at risk for, HIV and HCV. Peer Workers provide a unique category of service delivery through the lens of “shared lived experience” which is distinct from the roles and services delivered by other members of a multi-disciplinary care or prevention team.
The NYS 2015-2020 Blueprint for Ending the AIDS Epidemic recommended that the AIDS Institute develop a process for certification of Peer Workers. Peer-delivered services are viewed as critical to meeting New York State’s goal of ending the AIDS epidemic and it is anticipated that Peer Workers will play a critical role in increasing linkage and retention in care for people with HIV and HCV, improving rates of HCV cure, HIV viral suppression and preventing new infections. The AIDS Institute has, for many years, recognized the important role that peers can play and many health and social service programs have a long history of successfully engaging peers in a wide range of services.
1. Journal of the American Medical Association. Innovations in Primary Care | November 20, 2002. Patient Self-management of Chronic Disease in Primary Care. Thomas Bodenheimer, MD; Kate Lorig, RN, DrPH; Halsted Holman, MD; Kevin Grumbach, MD
JAMA. 2002;288(19):2469-2475. doi:10.1001/jama.288.19.246