Strengths-based: This values individuals and communities as key social agents of change not only with dilemmas, uncertainties, and responsibilities but also with considerable brilliance, resilience and creativity. It allows space for community members to see themselves as the solution rather than the problem.
Participatory: The process of creating programs and policy efforts must include community input which can be imperfect, messy, and time-consuming. Yet it can also be deeply invigorating, inspiring, and necessary if service providers are to remain anchored in the realities of the communities they profess to serve.
Sex Positive:This means being uncritical of desire, disease, or power while engaging in discussion about community sexual ethics. It is essential to focus on the sex people are having; how they feel about sex; how they seek to experience and learn about sex and bodies
before, during and after sex. Sometimes sex happens in irreverent celebration, communion and joy, and other times it happens in the silence of self-reflection or in the poetry of anonymous park sex. Sex cannot be turned into a two-dimensional, unexciting activity because we are trying to reduce new infections. We must address desire not repress desire.
Self-Reflective: Sitting with unanswered questions is often uncomfortable, but the process can support our work. We agree. We disagree. Sometimes we argue stubbornly and defend our positions. Again and again, we challenge one another and our community partners with fundamental questions which can then lead to solutions.
Staying anchored in a simplified approach to HIV prevention with messages about using condoms and getting tested is not enough. Flexibility and openness will be key in the continuing development of new efforts to reduce new infections