The Mentor


So you’re a mentor.

This online toolkit will give you all the resources you need to be able to learn and function in the role of a Partners in+care mentor. This document acts as a guide to allow you to easily sift through and find the specific information compiled by qualified and knowledgeable peers that you are looking for.


What is a Mentor’s role? / What is the goal of a mentor?

The Mentor role is meant to help engage and support others in personal retention efforts. When we say retention, we mean helping people stay in HIV care. Mentors also help people achieve viral suppression (HIV is controlled by medicines making the virus undetectable by lab testing). Mentors are the heart and hands of these roles – they engage directly with other patients in their social networks. Mentors might be called upon to: engage peers in retention, support peers in retention and medication adherence, and virtual mentoring.


Engaging Peers in Retention and Viral Suppression/Self-Care

What are the benefits to being in-care?

  • Care Management and Meaning – This document describes approaches to caring for people as a whole in resource limited settings. Several sections of this paper describe what it means to manage HIV care. Link to Care Management and Meaning.
  • Benefits of HIV treatment as stated on CDC web site – This resource covers the benefits of HIV treatment and can be used as a tool to help other people with HIV understand the importance of treatment. Link to CDC Description of the Benefits of HIV Treatment.
  • Prevention benefits of HIV treatment – This is another clinical resource to use in discussion with other consumers. Many of us with HIV-negative partners will be interested to learn more about the role of HIV treatment in keeping our partners negative. Link to Prevention Benefits of HIV Treatment.

Patient Activation/Engagement

HIV+ Cultural Competency

  • Supporting Patient Autonomy
  • Patient-Centered Care
    • This article examines the various definitions of patient-centered care and combines key features to create the most all-encompassing definition. Link to Article.
    • Another article examining the various definitions of patient-centered care with the goal of developing measures for it. Without measurement, it is difficult to discuss! Link to Article.
  • HRSA definition and tools for Cultural Competency – Short video on culture, language, and health literacy. Effective health communication is as important to health care as clinical skill. To improve individual health and build healthy communities, health care providers need to recognize and address the unique culture, language, and health literacy of diverse consumers and communities. Additional resources are available based on gender, age, race, and other special populations. Link to Video.


Supporting Peers in Retention and Viral Suppression/Self-Care

  • Readiness Assessments
    • Stages of Change explanation – This document gets into detail on the stages of change. This theory is very helpful for people who are having a hard time keeping their appointments and remembering to take their medication. The theory can be used for any behavior change process (stopping or starting a behavior). Link to explanation.
    • Stages of Change graphic – An excellent graphic of the stages of change by Creative Commons and Psychology Tools, take a look!
  • Do’s and Don’ts of Mentoring – Powerpoint presentation that provides excellent advice on the ins and outs of being a peer mentor. The overview contains helpful definitions and also hints on how to go about your business as a mentor. Link to Infectious Disease Institute Presentation on Peer Mentorship.
  • Guidance on Confidentiality
    • Understanding HIPAA
      • Comprehensive information on HIPAA from both the consumer and provider standpoints. You should be knowledgeable enough to perform as a mentor after reading this piece. Confidentiality is very important to us as people living with HIV. When in doubt, as a provider or avoid sharing personal health information. Link to HIPAA guidance.
      • A of the HIPAA privacy rule will help make sure you stay out of trouble in terms of your efforts as a Mentor. Simple to remember – never talk about anyone’s health or health status other than your own! Link to HIPAA Summary.
  • Patient Activation Support

Viral Suppression


Virtual Mentoring

  • What does mentoring involve?
  • Crafting a public narrative
    • Rethinking Health – Public Narratives. This resource is a soup to nuts description of public narratives starting with the reasons why we would create a narrative and ending with the steps to draft and spread your narrative. Link to Rethinking Health.