AIDS Healthcare Foundation
6255 W. Sunset Blvd., Suite 2100
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Phone: (213) 405-5807
Fax: (213) 481-8420
Title: Saving Our Sisters (SOS)
Project Director: Karen Mall
Target Population: Black/African American
Age Group: Adolescents, Adults
The Saving Our Sisters project seeks to provide high-risk African American women with culturally competent outreach, prevention education, HIV/STD counseling, testing and referral to appropriate follow-up services. The goal is to improve the health status relative to HIV/AIDS among high or moderate risk African American adolescent and adult women in South Los Angeles. The project is a collaborative effort between the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Sciences, and the YWCA.
The project provides HIV/AIDS prevention education, supports early HIV identification, HIV testing, counseling and referrals. Community stakeholders provide support to the project through participation in bimonthly meetings. Fifty volunteers serve on the YWCA Sexual Assault/Crisis Hotline. Peer-led group sessions and booster sessions are conducted that focus on ethnic and gender pride, HIV knowledge, skills training around sexual risk reduction behaviors, and decision-making. These sessions are gender specific and culturally relevant and include behavioral skills practice, group discussions, lectures, role-playing, viewing prevention videos, and take-home exercises. The educational curricula includes the ABC Approach (abstinence, be faithful, condom use). Activities are conducted at various sites including: faith-based organizations such as Dare U To Care and His Sheltering Arms; substance abuse treatment agencies; health fairs; cultural events such as African Markets Place; local awareness days; media campaigns with radio station KJLH; and local cable television stations. Outreach events occur at least monthly and last two hours depending on the site. HIV testing and counseling are conducted using mobile vans that travel to different venues (faith-based organizations, shopping malls, social service agencies, housing projects, recreation centers, street corners). The vans return to a site on multiple occasions in order to establish visibility and consistency.