Evaluation of SISTA and Safety Counts in “real-world” settings with African American women in Chicago

Malitta Engstrom, Shana Alford, Kischa Hampton, Monica Longmire, Melissa Kraus Schwarz, Milton “Mickey” Eder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This evaluation examined (a) the feasibility of recruiting 500 African American women and implementing a novel integration of Sisters Informing Sisters about Topics on AIDS (SISTA) and Safety Counts in “real-world” settings; and (b) improvements in HIV knowledge, sexual risk behaviors, substance use, and exposure to abuse among participants. Participants were recruited from agency services, community-based organizations, and street outreach. A total of 522 women completed the program, 357 women completed all three waves of Government Performance and Results Act Surveys. Descriptive and bivariate analyses were conducted. Participants experienced improvements related to HIV knowledge, protected vaginal sex, use of crack or cocaine, and exposure to emotional or physical abuse; however, reported rates of unprotected vaginal, anal, and oral sex remained high. There is a continued need for development and evaluation of HIV risk reduction interventions and engagement strategies to effectively reach women experiencing multiple risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-228
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of HIV/AIDS and Social Services
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (Grant Number: 5U79SP015211). Ideas expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect official views of the funder.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • HIV prevention
  • HIV/AIDS prevention education
  • HIV/AIDS transmission &/or risk
  • research, substance use
  • service practices, peer education
  • service practices, program evaluation


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