It was a big job to decide the best places to conduct the study. Over time, it would be ideal to carry out this research in numerous communities to better understand the state of HIV and housing throughout the province. For now, we focus on three main sites:
- Greater Vancouver: chosen because of its large population, and because the majority of HIV-positive people in BC live in the Lower Mainland. Many other studies on HIV have taken place in Vancouver, which makes it easier to compare PLPH findings with other research.
- Prince George: chosen because it is the main hub of activity in the northern part of British Columbia. Housing issues include unique weather- and industry-related challenges. The rate of HIV infection is particularly high in Aboriginal communities in the north.
- Kamloops: chosen because the team wanted to include a site in the southern interior of BC, which has not been heavily studied. There are some housing units in Kamloops dedicated for HIV+ people; this is very rare in BC.
Doing case studies allows the research team to delve deeply into the topic in each site and, given the local context, better understand what is going on for people living with HIV in those places. In addition to doing interviews with people living with HIV, we also interview service providers and policy makers in each site to better understand the issues from a variety of perspectives. To read more about this methodology, please download How to Do Case Study Research by Donna Zucker of the University of Massachusetts.