Devin Hursey

Meaningful Involvement of People with HIV (MIPA)

’m continuing a series exploring the relationship between community and public health institutions, with a particular focus on trust. If we have learned nothing else from the Covid-19 pandemic, we have learned that our health is intricately connected with the health of other members of our community. Because of this fact, it is vitally important that communities can trust public health information and interventions enacted by public health institutions.

Meaningful Involvement of People with HIV (MIPA)

Meaningful Involvement of People with HIV (MIPA) is a set of principles for including people living with HIV in all decisions regarding the HIV epidemic. In the global discourse, MIPA is referred to as the greater involvement of people with HIV(GIPA).

Denver Principles

In June of 1983 at the National Lesbian and Gay Health Conference hosted in Denver, Colorado, a group of attendees living with HIV organized themselves and drafted a manifesto comprised of a list of recommendations. This list would go on to be known as the Denver principles, marking the beginning of the self-determination movement for people living with HIV (or AIDS at the time). The Denver principles are organized into three sections with recommendations for all people, recommendations for “people with AIDS”, and a section listing the rights of “people with AIDS”.

We condemn attempts to label us as “victims,” a term which implies defeat, and we are only occasionally “patients,” a term which implies passivity, helplessness, and dependence upon the care of others. We are “People With AIDS.”

-Denver Principles 1983


The Denver Principles, over a few decades, evolved into MIPA and GIPA. Effective MIPA implementation requires the involvement of people with HIV in all policy, programmatic, and funding decisions regarding the epidemic. Additionally, people living with HIV should be engaged early and often, before any planning takes place. This way, people with HIV are afforded the opportunity to share in all planning stages and contribute to implementation and evaluation.

MIPA Implementation

MIPA requires organizations to assess their capacity to facilitate MIPA.  This often requires organizations to consider their structure, and leadership at every level.

Networks of people living with HIV can implement MIPA by adopting policies and decision-making processes that make especial consideration for all people living with HIV. These approaches ensure that no one is left behind.


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  2. Carter A, Greene S, Nicholson V. Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Increasing the Meaningful Involvement of Women Living With HIV/AIDS (MIWA) in the Design and Delivery of HIV/AIDS Services. Health Care for Women International. 2014;36(8):936-964. doi: 
  3. Coleman JL, Jones M, Washington D, et al. Using the Meaningful Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS (MIPA) Framework to Assess the Engagement of Sexual Minority Men of Color in the US HIV Response: a Literature Review [published online ahead of print, 2022 Sep 28]. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2022;10.1007/s40615-022-01417-0. doi:10.1007/s40615-022-01417-0 
  4. Coren F, Brown MK, Ikeda DJ. Beyond Tokenism in Quality Management Policy and programming: Moving from Participation to Meaningful Involvement of People with HIV in New York State. International Journal for Quality in Health Care. 2021;33(1). doi:
  5. Cowan FM, Reza-Paul S, Ramaiah M, Kerrigan DL. Strategies to promote the meaningful involvement of sex workers in HIV prevention and care. Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS. 2019;14(5):401-408. doi: 
  6. Ellis MV. Forty Years of Fighting for Equitable Partnering in HIV Research: We Are Not There Yet. American Journal of Public Health. 2021;111(7):1249-1251. doi: 
  7. Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV (GIPA) Good Practice Guide2010. International HIV/AIDS Alliance and the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) 2010; 2010. Accessed July 25, 2023. 
  8. Kaida A, Carter A, Nicholson V. Hiring, training, and supporting Peer Research Associates: Operationalizing community-based research principles within epidemiological studies by, with, and for women living with HIV. Harm Reduction Journal. 2019;16(1). doi: 
  9. Karris MY, Dubé K, Moore AA. What lessons it might teach us? Community engagement in HIV research. Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS. 2020;15(2):142-149. doi: 
  10. Lau JSY, Smith MZ, Allan B. Time for revolution? Enhancing meaningful involvement of people living with HIV and affected communities in HIV cure-focused science. Journal of Virus Eradication.  2020; 6(4):100018. doi:
  11. London N. The Founding Principles Of AIDS Activism Were Created Not In New York Or San Francisco, But Denver. Colorado Public Radio. Published August 29, 2018. Accessed July 25, 2023. 
  12. Mainstreaming The Principle of Meaningful Involvement of People Living with or Affected By HIV/AIDS (MIPA) Into HIV/AIDS Programming. Published 2000. Accessed July 25, 2023. 
  13. Miriam Lewis Sabin. How the Denver Principles changed health care for everyone. The Lancet Journal. 2023;401(10394):2099-2100. doi: 
  14. Morolake O, Stephens D, Welbourn A. Greater involvement of people living with HIV in health care. Journal of the International AIDS Society. 2009;12(1):4-4. doi: 
  15. Namiba A, Orza L, Bewley S. Ethical, strategic and meaningful involvement of women living with HIV starts at the beginning. Journal of Virus Eradication. 2016;2(2):110-111. doi: 
  16. Paterson BL, Ross S, Gaudet T. Motives for meaningful involvement in rural AIDS service organizations. AIDS Care. 2013;26(5):582-586. doi: 
  17. Spieldenner A, French M, Ray V. The Meaningful Involvement of People with HIV/AIDS (MIPA): The Participatory Praxis Approach to Community Engagement on HIV Surveillance. Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship. 2022;14(2). doi:
  18. Sprague L. GIPA, MIPA, and the Denver Principles: Strengthening Community Involvement across the Global AIDS Response.; 2017. Accessed July 25, 2023.
  19. Self-Assessment Checklist: Meaningful Involvement of PLHIV and Affected Communities (MIPA). Accessed July 25, 2023. 
  20. UNAIDS Policy Brief the Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV (GIPA) Context Nearly 40 Million People in the World Are Living with HIV. UNAIDS; 2006. Accessed July 25, 2023.
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The mission of the Boston Congress of Public Health Thought Leadership for Public Health Fellowship (BCPH Fellowship) seeks to: 

  • Incubate the next generation of thought leaders in public health;
  • Advance collective impact for health equity through public health advocacy; and
  • Diversify, democratize, and broaden evidence-based public health dialogue and expression.

It is guided by an overall vision to provide a platform, training, and support network for the next generation of public health thought leaders and public scholars to explore and grow their voice.