Positive Self-Management Program (HIV)


Workshops are highly participatory. Mutual support and success build participants’ confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives.  Each participant is guided to tailor the workshop content to their own needs.

If participants are older and or living with multiple chronic conditions, the CDSMP could be used in place of the PSMP.

Two old men doing sport, they are riding a bike in the forest


  • Small group workshop offered either face-to-face or virtually
  • 2 1/2 hours per session
  • 1 session per week for 6 weeks


People who are living with HIV

  • 12-16 participants per face-to-face workshop 
  • 8-12 participants per virtual workshop

Workshop Leaders

  • 2 trained Leaders, one or both of whom are non-health professionals with HIV, for both in person and virtual workshops  
  • Must be trained by SMRC-certified Master Trainers

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Program replace existing programs and treatments?

The Positive Self-Management Program will not conflict with existing programs or treatment. It is designed to enhance regular treatment and HIV-specific education. The program gives participants the skills and confidence to coordinate all the things needed to manage their health, as well as to help them keep active in their lives.

How were the programs developed?

While at Stanford University, Dr. Allen Gifford received a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to develop and pilot a community-based self-management program to assist people with HIV. The study was completed in 1997.  Later Dr. Alison Webel, while a doctoral student at the University of California San Francisco, conducted a second evaluation. 

How can my facility offer the Program?

All agencies must have at a minimum:

Workshop Topics

Physicians whose works centers on HIV, registered dietitians, occupational and physical  therapists, and other health professionals have reviewed all workshop materials. 

Topics include:

  • How to best integrate medication regimens into daily life so they can be taken consistently (including PrEP)
  • Techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fear, fatigue, pain, and isolation
  • Appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility, and endurance
  • Communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professionals
  • Nutrition
  • Evaluating symptoms
  • Advanced directives
  • Decision-making
  • Sex, intimacy
  • Action-planning, problem-solving, decision-making

Participant Materials

Language Options

Spanish translation available (Vivir más sano con VIH)

For articles the Positive Self-Management Program see the bibliography

The PSMP program is approved for Title IIID funding under the Older American’s Act and has been funded in some places by Ryan White funds.

Contact us for more information smrc@selfmanagementresource.com

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