AIDS Prevention and Health Promotion among Women

Stevan E. Hobfoll, Anita P. Jackson, Justin Lavin, Paula J. Britton & James B. Shepherd



AIDS Prevention and Health Promotion among Women is designed to assist participants between 16 and 29 years of age in developing and following a sound sexual health plan. Based on the concepts of empowerment, group social support and culturally sensitive skill building, this program comprises four 1 1/2- to 2-hour small (2-8 participant) group sessions conducted over the course of three months. Video segments promote group discussion, spark group role plays and engage participants in cognitive rehearsal and guided exercises designed to encourage healthy choices about one's body and sexuality. Specifically, this program encourages women to think about the physical and emotional consequences of unsafe sex. It helps them achieve a sense of mastery and positive expectations when discussing sexual history, HIV/AIDS testing, monogamy, spermicide and condom use and other health-related concerns with their partners. In addition, the program teaches participants how to effectively negotiate safer sex with one's partner and maintain safer sex goals. This program was field tested with pregnant low-income African-American and white women who were using medical center obstetrics services in Akron, Ohio. Compared to control groups, participants showed significant and sustained increases in HIV/AlDS knowledge, safer sex goals, and safer-sex behaviors, including spermicide and condom purchase and use.


AIDS Prevention and Health Promotion among Women can be implemented in clinics and community-based organizations. Although the original field study was conducted with pregnant women, the program is appropriate for older adolescents and young adult women (ages 16+).


Age, Gender
The field test participants included 206 unmarried women in their second trimester of pregnancy, who were using obstetric clinic services. Their ages ranged from 16 to 29 years. The average age of participants was 21.

The field test population was 57% African-American, 40% White, 3% other ethnic origins.


This program is designed to last a total of 6-8 hours. The program schedule is fairly flexible and can be adjusted to suit the particular site. However, it is recommended that the four program sessions be conducted over a period of two to three months, with participants attending a single 1 1/2- to 2-hour session every two or three weeks.


A female masters-level psychologist or health educator should deliver the interventions. One leader is recommended for each group of up to eight women. They should have the ability to empathize with participants, a good working knowledge of AIDS and health concerns and the ability to communicate a positive health message. Training should include group process skills, role playing and associated skills and multicultural psychology. Video feedback on a practice session, if possible, is also suggested.

   Primary Pregnancy Prevention
   Secondary Pregnancy Prevention
   STD/HIV/AIDS Prevention


   Behavioral Skills Development
   Community Outreach
   Contraceptive Access
   Contraceptive Education
   Life Option Enhancement
   Sexuality/STD/HIV/AIDS Education

   Adult Involvement
   Case Management
   Group Discussion
   Peer Counseling/Instruction
   Public Service Announcements
   Role Play
Guided imagery, group social support, cognitive rehearsal


The PASHA Program Package for this program includes:

  • PASHA User's Guide
  • AIDS Prevention and Health Promotion among Women Program Manual
  • Session 1: Drug Use, Alcohol Use and AIDS videotape
  • Session 2: Condom and Spermicide Use and Controlling the Conditions of Sexual Encounters videotape
  • Session 3: Sexual History, Saying No to an Unwanted Intensive Sexual proposition, Developing a Mutual Sexual Behavior Plan videotape
  • Session 4: Relapse Prevention, Post-Intervention Sexual Life, Alternatives to Intercourse, Mutual Monogamy, and Cleaning Drug Works videotape
  • Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, May 10, 2002
  • Set of Original Evaluation Instruments
  • Prevention Minimum Evaluation Data Set (PMEDS)
  • Local Evaluator Consultant Network Directory

  • Telephone technical support on implementation and evaluation for 1 year