2-Spirit HIV/AIDS Wellness and Longevity Study: Exploring the Health and Wellness of Long-Term HIV Positive Two-Spirit Males in Ontario

Despite numerous obstacles, many two-spirit and/or gay/bisexual HIV-positive Aboriginal men (APHAs) who have been living with HIV for a long time report that they are doing well.  This study was designed to bring together a team of researchers comprised of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community members and academics to examine the ways in which two-spirit men with HIV understand the skills, resources, knowledge and practices that contribute to their health and wellbeing.

Through the use of the Medicine Wheel, a North American Indigenous symbol commonly used as a tool to describe complex learning or concepts in a visual way, participants were invited to discuss historical, biomedical, social, spiritual, sexual, and behavioural factors affecting their health, wellness and resiliency.  Through a participatory analysis of participants’ discussion, the Seven Truths of Resiliency arose as integral components of their health, wellness, and resiliency.  These Seven Truths of Resiliency represent a framework for understanding Two-spirit APHAs resiliency as specific systems of personal, cultural, community, and spiritual assets and resources.  The Seven Truths of Resiliency are:  (1) Worldview, (2) Finding One’s Strength, (3) Walking Towards Balance, (4) Recognizing True Power, (5) Mino-bimaadiziwin (living the good [way of] life), (6) Self-care, and (7) Living Our Truth.

David J. Brennan
Principal Investigator

Art Zoccole
Principle Knowledge User
416-944-9300 ext. 222

Georgi Georgievski
Research Assistant

David J. Brennan
University of Toronto

Art Zoccole
2-Spirited Peoples of the 1st Nations

Tony Nobis
Ontario Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Strategy

Randy Jackson
McMaster University

Ken Clement
Canadian Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Strategy

Doe O’Brien Teengs
Lakehead University