Alan Li


OHTN Policy and Practice Leader

Racialized and newcomer communities exhibit incredible ability to cope with adversities and lead healthy and successful lives despite facing disproportionate HIV burden and complex service barriers. Alan Li works with community members to support and enhance this resiliency.

Policy Influences:

  • Alan Li’s research work with marginalized communities has led to the creation of crucially needed programs, including the Compassionate Drug Program at Toronto People with AIDS Foundation, immigration legal services at the HIV/AIDS Legal Clinic (Ontario), service access training on HIV and immigration issues, and the Legacy PHA Mentorship Project

Current Research Projects:

  • HIV Champions in Action: Scaling-up – The CHAMP (Community HIV/AIDS Advocates Mobilization Project) project led by Alan Li created an intervention that supports individuals to become more visible advocates for people living with HIV within their specific ethnocultural communities and helps combat stigma. This research team is now working to implement the program in real life community settings engaging multi-sector partners (e.g., ASO, faith, social justice) from African, Caribbean, Asian, and Latino communities.
  • MSM Resilience Dialogues is based on research on resiliency in individuals and at the community level among racialized men who have sex with men (MSM). An intervention has been developed to foster resiliency ultimately promoting sexual health and overall well-being. Testing will begin with Asian MSM, and then be expanded to engage racialized MSM more broadly.
  • Supporting the Supporter: Promoting Resilience amongst PHA Service Providers has identified challenges facing people living with HIV (PHAs) who become AIDS service providers. An intervention is now being tested to promote PHA service providers’ mental health and sustainable/meaningful engagement by these workers.

Work Environment and Collaborations:

As a clinician at the Regent Park Community Health Centre, Alan Li has had extensive experience with the health barriers and inequities faced by many marginalized people living with HIV, particularly immigrants, refugees, and those without status. These experiences have inspired his research efforts and his work as Research Chair of the Committee for Accessible AIDS Treatment (CAAT), a coalition of more than 30 Ontario-based organizations from the legal, health, settlement and HIV/AIDS sectors. His research is community-based, driven by community needs and emphasizes community empowerment and mentorship. He collaborates with other OHTN scientists particularly those that conduct community focused work with marginalized communities such as Josephine Wong and Winston Husbands.

OHTN Support:

Alan Li holds an OHTN Policy and Practice Leadership Award to continue his work on interventions to improve health and wellness for people living with HIV in marginalized communities ($250,000; 2015-2020). First funded by OHTN in 2004.

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