266511 Thinking outside of the cell: A journey of women's empowerment

Monday, October 29, 2012

Ariel Ludwig, MPH , Re-Entry Programs, Metro Wellness and Community Centers, Tampa, FL
Issues: In the Tampa Bay area there are 3,500 men who are HIV positive in and out of incarceration. Education among women about the epidemic is critical to stop the spread of the virus. Description: We combined several DEBI's: SISTA, VOICES, and Community Promise to form a gender responsive prevention program for women. This combination allows us to empower women; which transforms lives. Women gain self confidence in abilities and skills to negotiate condom usage, application of barrier methods, coping, and communication. Upon completion of the program, women often re-evaluate their relationship with their partner and leave them. We offer services and support in the aftermath. Pre- and post test comparisons indicate the following significant increases in HIV knowledge and behaviors: 44% of women report knowing how to use a female condom, 63% know how to use a dental dam. Pre and Post test results regarding jail/prison myths indicate increases in knowledge as well: 34% of women know condoms are not given to men, 29% know bleach for cleaning needles are not supplied and 33% know men who are HIV positive are not separated from the general population. Lessons Learned: Providing risk prevention education to women has a positive impact on their knowledge and empowers women to practice risk reduction techniques. Recommendations: Interventions and programming need to be gender specific and have the ability to address basic needs of women served.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the session participants will be able to discuss techniques to empower women to reduce their risk for HIV and STD’s. By the end of the session participants will be able to describe prevention interventions to reduce behavior that puts women at risk for HIV and STD’s. By the end of the session, participants will be knowledgeable on the benefits of gender specific interventions. By the end of the session, participants will demonstrate knowledge of strategies that can be used when working with women partners of incarcerated or recently released men.

Keywords: Women and HIV/AIDS, Incarceration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I currently serve as the Program Coordinator for Re-entry Services at Metro Wellness and Community Centers, a community-based non-profit. While here, I oversee the HIRE (Health Improvement for Re-entering Ex-offenders) Program, and manage its day-to-day activities. Prior to this, I received a Masters in Public Health from Yale University and have over three years of experience working in and researching the intersection of public health, correctional health, and HIV/AIDS.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.