Peer support for people living with HIV: A scoping review


Peer support for people living with HIV has gained increasing traction and is considered a way to take an active role in self-management. The existing research examining peer support interventions has reported promising evidence of the benefits of peer support. The purpose of our scoping review was to describe research on peer support for people living with HIV. We included 53 studies and sorted them into analytic categories and conducted descriptive analyses. The studies that were published between November/December 2000 and May 2021, had a range of study designs and heterogeneous priority groups, and included 20,657 participants from 16 countries. We identified 43 evaluations of the effect of peer support and 10 evaluations of implementation, process, feasibility, cost of peer support. We also categorized peer support by key functions, finding that the most common key functions were linkage to clinical care and community resources and assistance in daily management, with only one study directly related to chronic care. There is growing research interest in peer support for people living with HIV, particularly in high-income countries and related to the evaluation of effects. The revealed gaps of prioritized functions of peer support have implications for further research. Further focus on interventions addressing secondary prevention related to noncommunicable diseases as part of a care package is recommended to meet people’s needs and preferences and increase self-management related to a chronic lifelong condition.


Øgård-Repål A, Berg RC, Fossum F




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Determinants of Health
  • Determinants of Health
    • Social support
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population


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