A ‘community wealth’ approach
Resilience+ uses a ‘community wealth’ perspective, which means that we are interested in the cultural and social assets that are abundant (yet understudied) within communities affected by HIV and Covid. By ‘community wealth’ we do not mean financial wealth but resources such as a culture of mutual support within a community.
An in-depth understanding of resilience-promoting mechanisms is essential for informing strengths-based responses to pandemics. Unfortunately, research on both HIV and Covid has been largely ‘damage-centred’, documenting losses without robust reference to markers of strength, resilience and agency. This limiting focus can perpetuate harmful stereotypes, and miss opportunities to learn about positive psychological, behavioral, and/or social adaptation strategies used by people during pandemics. Damage-centred research can, at best, inform damage-reduction strategies but it cannot inform the design of empowering interventions which recognise people’s potential, work with their capacities, and boost resilience.
We believe that people living with HIV can provide unique insight into the strategies that can be utilised for uplifting people’s resilience during pandemics. We also believe that documenting this resilience is essential for informing strengths-based responses to HIV, Covid, and future pandemics.