PLDI Intro – Positive Leadership Development Institute for people living with HIV


The Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI) offers people living with HIV (PLHIV) an opportunity to identify and develop their leadership and resilience skills in a safe environment by and for. PLDI trainings are for all PLHIV that want to be leaders.

The program aims to create a network of informed and empowered people living with HIV who will participate in and influence their local community. The four main topic areas of development include an intention to:

  • Build individual resilience to confront HIV stigma and discrimination
  • Identify personal leadership values and philosophy
  • Develop leadership skills and practices
  • Gain community knowledge and awareness for greater participation in community endeavours
Today, more than 1,200 HIV-positive leaders have graduated from at least 1 module of the Institute, many of which have modeled the way, inspired their peers, and taken action to bring forth change.


We believe that a diversity of strong leaders creates stronger communities :

  • By honouring the leadership of the past;
  • By valuing the leadership of today; and,
  • By inspiring leadership for the future.


The approach to leadership adopted by PLDI starts from the belief that leadership does not belong to a small group of charismatic individuals, but rather that everyone has the capacity to be a leader in his or her own way.

The program fosters a collaborative model of leadership — also known as a shared, collective or distributive model — which is grounded in shared values of individuals, the diverse actions of leaders, and their capacity to collectively act upon a shared vision.


PLDI values and recognizes the strength of diversity and aims to have participants from a variety of backgrounds including — but not limited to — age, gender, geography, sexual identity and orientation, cultural background, and lived experience.


Also, all throughout our website, videos, and documents you’ll notice contours in some of our photos.

Since the journey is different for all, these contours represent people living with HIV who can not or do not want to disclose their HIV status because of HIV stigmatization which is still ongoing in 2021.


The Positive Leadership Development Institute is a partnership program between three AIDS service organizations (ASO) from the most populous provinces in Canada:

The Institute was initiated in Ontario by PLHIV members of the OAN in 2006. It was such a success that it was extended to British Columbia in 2009 and in Quebec in 2018. Furthermore, it was also exported across the Pacific Ocean to Australia and New Zealand.

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Initiated by PHAs of the Ontario AIDS Network (OAN) in 2006, the Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI) has had an important impact on many lives and projects linked to the HIV sector including some of the examples below :

PLDI received the 2013 Jay Browne Award at the Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN) Research Conference. The award recognizes excellence, leadership, and innovation in the field of HIV/AIDS. It recognizes and helps to advance the work of community leaders who are making a real difference in the lives of Ontarians living with HIV. The funding provided with the award made possible a joint OHTN-PLDI research day in November 2014. During the day PLDI alumni dialogued with researchers to identify the research they wanted to see done. Aging with HIV and holistic approaches to healthy living were the main items identified. This is in contrast to research forums in past years where the focus was more on biomedical and treatment issues. Aging with HIV is emerging as a major concern: PHAs wonder where they can live as they age. For example, will there be long-term care facilities that have HIV expertise and that will fully accept PHAs? (See report below for more details)

In 2014, graduates of the PLDI training participated in the OHTN research day and 90 alumni attended the OAN Honour Roll reception, which celebrates the Honour Roll awards recipients. On World AIDS Day (December 1) 2014, 30 PLDI alumni who have publicly disclosed put their photographs on Peter’s Tree, an artwork created by Joseph Babcock. The work was on display at the opening of the new offices of the AIDS Committee of Ottawa (ACO) in February 2015 and at a church in Toronto during the year. Also on display at the ACO opening was a copy of the Ontario Accord, which was created during the work on Living & Serving in 2011, a process in which many PLDI graduates participated. (You can read a copy of the Ontario Accord at the end of the document below.)

Please note PLDI trainings by the OAN in Ontario are offered in English only. For potential interest in French training in Ontario, please see the FAQ section and/ or contact us at 



Tara Jewal, manager

Well-traveled, insightful, energetic and inspirational are often used to describe this dynamic mentor, leader, mother and colleague. Candid in her views, Tara knows how to deliver messages that resonate across...


PAN, formerly known as the Pacific AIDS Network, brought the Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI) to BC, working in partnership with the Ontario AIDS Network (OAN).  Since its launch in 2009, more than 300 people have graduated from the Core Leadership Training module and most grads have also gone on to attend the other modules of the training, Communications Skills and Bored? Get on Board! (Board governance training).

PLDI grads actively work and volunteer within community-based organizations, as well as health authorities, in a wide range of capacities including peer navigation, harm reduction, prevention/education, support services, and in leadership and governance positions.

The British Columbia PLDI chapter is delivered by the Pacific AIDS Network (PAN), is a registered non-profit and works directly with 40 HIV, hepatitis C, STBBI, and harm reduction member organizations in every health authority region of BC, as well as one member in the Yukon.

Recent PAN & PLDI Reports

Please note PLDI trainings by the PAN in British Columbia are offered in English only. For potential interest in French training in BC, please see the FAQ section and/ or contact us at



Marc Seguin, manager

Marc Seguin  (He /His) at the Pacific AIDS Network, wants to provide the opportunity for as many people living with HIV as possible to attend the leadership development trainings and...


In August 2017, COCQ-SIDA, in partnership with the Ontario Aids Network (OAN) and the Pacific Aids Network (PAN) officially initiated the Quebec chapter of the Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI) in French. Financed by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC),  the five-year project aims to empower citizens living with HIV in Québec so that they develop their leadership potential and increase their capacity to significantly participate in community life.

As an example of the GIPA principles in action, PLDI teams of facilitators/ trainers are solely made up of people living with HIV. Participants can be assured of the warmth, creativity and resiliency of the team of trainers who can depend on one another, and the reassuring safe space of respect, open-mindedness, and solidarity this helps create.

The Quebec facilitators each hold leadership roles outside of PLDI in different positions. Each member of the team of trainers has training and/or experience of teaching and facilitating to adults and peers. They also all participated in the three PLDI trainings before becoming PLDI Facilitators. In all, the Quebec team of trainers has 67 years of facilitating experience when the individual years of experience are cumulated. The individual experiences allow our team to facilitate varied learning workshops and methods such as art therapy, group discussion and technologically filled presentations.

The work experience of our team of facilitators is varied and includes experience of things such as outreach work, community coordination, management of non-profit organizations, board work experience,  computer graphics,  and web design to name but a few.

Finally, since the Quebec PLDI journey was initiated, our facilitation team has been attributed superpowers and healing powers which, even if exaggerated, these comparisons highlight the positive energy and impact participants gain from our trainings.

Please note PLDI trainings by COCQ-SIDA in Québec are offered in French only. For potential interest in English training in Québec, please see the FAQ section and/ or contact us at



Daniel-Claude Gendron, manager

Daniel-Claude Gendron, coordination IDLP, volet Québec Artiste, gaucher, daltonien, gay et séropositif. L’action communautaire, il connaît, les relations d’aide aussi. Et à son arc, une autre passion, le dessin. Après...