This randomized controlled trial evaluated an innovative culturally specific sexual health intervention - targeting, but not limited to, low-income African American women - in which HIV and sexually transmitted disease prevention strategies were combined with comprehensive sexuality education. The intervention was delivered and evaluated in community-based settings to 218 participants randomly assigned to treatment or a no-treatment control group. Participants were interviewed at pretest and 3 and 9 months after the intervention to assess changes in both sexuality and HIV risk variables. The intervention was effective in improving sexual anatomy knowledge at both 3- and 9-month follow-up. For a subset of women engaging in unprotected sex at pretest, the intervention group reported an increase in positive attitudes toward the female condom at 9-month follow-up. Reasons for the weak treatment effect are discussed in the context of challenges inherent in conducting community-based research with high-risk populations and sensitive topics. Recommendations are provided for improving sample attrition, statistical power, and response bias and for altering the intervention so as to strengthen its impact.