Encyclopedia of AIDS

Living Edition
| Editors: Thomas J. Hope, Douglas Richman, Mario Stevenson

Peer-Based Intervention Approaches

  • Kimberly M. Nelson
  • Joyce P. Yang
  • Yamile Molina
  • Jane M. Simoni
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-9610-6_94-1


Peer-based intervention approaches use community members, as opposed to highly trained specialists, to provide HIV care and prevention services.

Review of Peer-Based Approaches

Since the onset of the HIV epidemic, people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and those directly affected by it such as high-risk groups and family caregivers of PLWHA, have been an indispensable component of HIV prevention, care, and treatment. Yet it has not been until recently that efforts have been made to systematically define peers, describe their roles, and evaluate the efficacy of their contributions.

Simoni et al. (2011a) offer the following comprehensive definition of “peers”: individuals who (a) share key personal characteristics, circumstances, or experiences with the people they serve; (b) contribute services whose value emanates from the peers’ status as a peer; (c) lack formal expertise but may have short-term and competency-based training; and (d) provide services according to standard...


Social Capital Sexual Risk Behavior Social Network Theory Social Comparison Theory Multiple Health Behavior 
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  1. Medley A, Kennedy C, O’Reilly K, Sweat M. Effectiveness of peer education interventions for HIV prevention in developing countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis. AIDS Educ Prev. 2009;21:181–206.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Peer Education & Evaluation Resource Center. Lessons learned from the peer education and training sites/resource and evaluation center (PETS/REC) initiative 2005–2010 | PEER Center. 2012. http://peer.hdwg.org/lessons/. Accessed 27 Aug 2012.
  3. Simoni JM, Franks JC, Lehavot K, Yard SS. Peer interventions to promote health: conceptual considerations. Am J Orthopsychiatry. 2011a;81(3):351–9.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Simoni JM, Nelson KM, Franks JC, Yard SS, Lehavot K. Are peer interventions for HIV efficacious? A systematic review. AIDS Behav. 2011b;15(8):1589–95.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kimberly M. Nelson
    • 1
  • Joyce P. Yang
    • 1
  • Yamile Molina
    • 2
  • Jane M. Simoni
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Public Health Sciences DivisionFred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterSeattleUSA