There are limited HIV prevention options and supportive services tailored to the needs of Africa-American women re-entering the community after incarceration. Interventions for incarcerated women, and those with a history of incarceration, need to be gender- and culture-specific, and need to address relational risks, interpersonal violence, and social-contextual factors that go beyond condom use skills.
To address the HIV prevention needs of these women locally, the Chicago Women’s AIDS Project (CWAP), developed Returning Sisters – an individual-level, comprehensive HIV prevention package combining behavioral and biomedical approaches, including HIV counseling and testing, PrEP navigation, cognitive behavioral therapy, harm reduction counseling, and peer-based substance abuse recovery coaching. To maximize the public health impact of the homegrown Returning Sisters intervention, this project aims to:
- Establish a mutually beneficial community-academic partnership between CWAP and the Evaluation, Data Integration, and Technical Assistance Program (EDIT);
- Enhance the existing research and evaluation infrastructure at CWAP; and
- Collect long-term follow-up data in ongoing HIV prevention intervention projects at CWAP, including Returning Sisters.
Taken together, strengthening the research and evaluation capacity at CWAP would increase the organization’s ability to evaluate promising interventions tailored to women, primarily African-American women who have histories of addiction and incarceration.