HIV/sexually transmitted infection (STI) risk-reduction interventions are needed to address the complex risk behaviors among African-American female adolescents in disadvantaged communities in North Carolina. In a two-group randomized trial, we reached 237 sexually active, substance-using African-American female adolescents, to test a risk-reduction intervention, the Young Women’s CoOp (YWC), relative to a nutrition control. In efficacy analyses adjusting for baseline condom use, at three-month follow-up participants in the YWC were significantly less likely to report sex without a condom at last sex relative to control. There were mixed findings for within-group differences over follow-up, underscoring the challenges for intervening with substance-using female youths.Wechsberg, W. M., Browne, F. A., Zule, W. A., Novak, S. P., Doherty, I. A., Kline, T. L., ... Herbst, J. H. (2017). Efficacy of the Young Women's CoOp: An HIV Risk-Reduction Intervention for Substance-Using African-American Female Adolescents in the South. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 26(3), 205-218. DOI: 10.1080/1067828X.2016.1260511
“We must listen to the communities, the local people, to understand culturally what is going to fit and what is going to be the language of the research, and not just say we know what to do here.”
"I am so grateful to have the opportunity to work on applied, gender-focused projects in the community in which I grew up, in hopes of having an impact on HIV, STIs and other health outcomes among African-American adolescent girls and young women."