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The WiLLOW Program

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  1. The WiLLOW Program Gina M. Wingood Ralph J. DiClemente Emory University Funded by NIMH (1 R01 MH54412) Family Consortium on HIV/AIDS

  2. Colleagues • Isis Mikhail, MD, DrPH, MPH1 • Donna Hubbard-McCree, PhD, MPH2 • Susan Davies, PhD, MPH1 • Delia Lang, PhD, MPH2 • Edward Hook, III, MD, MPH3 • Angela Caliendo, PhD, MD4 • Special thanks to all the young women who participated in the WiLLOW program and all the dedicated staff who made this program possible ______ 1School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham 2Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health 3School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham 4School of Medicine, Emory University

  3. The WiLLOW Program W= Women i= Involved in L = Life L = Learning from O = Other W= Women

  4. WiLLOW • The WiLLOW program originates from the belief that historically women have learned about life and about how to cope with life’s challenges by having relationships with other women. These interactions, connections, and friendships are important sources of inspiration and evolve into a sense of support, kinship and sisterhood that are the essence of WiLLOW.

  5. Objectives To test the efficacy of a sexual risk-reduction and coping enhancement program for women living with HIV to: (a) enhance coping skills, (b) improve quality of life, (c ) increase safer sex, (d) reduce (STDs) over a 12-month follow-up

  6. Eligibility Criteria • Women • Living with HIV • 18 – 50 years of age • All were receiving clinical care • Reported having unprotected vaginal sex in the past 6 months • Provided written informed consent

  7. Not Eligible Unable to Participate • - HIV positive • Female • Receiving • Clinical Care • Eligible • Sexually • active • 18- 50 • Can Attend • Sessions • - Follow-ups Sexual Risk Red. Intervention 6-mo FU 12-mo FU Baseline Assessment (N=383) Adherence Comparison 6-mo FU 12-mo FU

  8. Recruitment Sites Recruited for 3 years from 1997 – 2000 at several sites: • Atlanta - Ponce de Leon Clinic - Health Department • Alabama - Birmingham - 1917 clinic - Montgomery - Montgomery AIDS Outreach - Mobile - Anniston - Health Department – Cooper Green clinic

  9. Data Collection Data collected at baseline, 6- and 12-months follow-up. Type of DataData SourceData • Self-report Interview Outcomes, Mediators, Mod. • Biological Vaginal Swabs STDs: CT,GC,TV • Biological Emit II Urine Screen Current Drug Use • Biological Pregnancy Screen Pregnancy • Clinical Medical Chart CD4, VL, OI • Direct Observation Condom Use Skills Measure of Condom Skills

  10. Intervention Logistics - A trained health educator and peer educator co-facilitated implementing the program sessions - 4 sessions: Sexual risk reduction & coping - 4 sessions: Adherence comparison - All sessions were 4 hours in length

  11. Compensation • Transportation to and from each session • Catered lunch • Child care • $50 compensation • Personal Gifts

  12. Involving Community Based Organizations in Prevention Programs • Sista Love: An ASO that provides prevention education to women living with HIV • Jerusalem House: An ASO that provides housing to women living with HIV • HIV Specialty Clinic Advisory Boards: Women living with HIV who were peer advocates of prevention, education and care • Local Domestic Violence Shelters

  13. Transactional Model of Stress and Coping(Folkman & Lazarus) Stressful events are defined as person-environment transactions in which a stressor is mediated by two processes, an individual's appraisal of the potential threat of the stressor (primary appraisal) and their appraisal of their personal resources and their perceived ability cope to with the stressor (secondary appraisal).

  14. Session 1: Enhancing Gender Pride • Discuss joys of being a woman – compassionate, strong, nurturing, integrity • Discuss challenges of being a women – reliance on males, multiple roles • Goal setting – planning for the future • Values – freedom, faith, family

  15. Session 1: Social Support • Identified who is in their social support network • Defined types of support social support • Identified types of social support provided by members • Who they would like to bring into their social support network

  16. Session 1: Social Support • Benefits of Social Support • Barriers to Social Support • Qualities of a Supportive Person • Reducing Burnout of Support Givers

  17. Session 2: Stressors What Stresses You Out???? • Children • Relationships • Financial • Their health

  18. Session 2: Coping with Stress STRESSOR Is it Changeable? Yes No Change what you Change what you DOTHINK

  19. Changing What You Think • R = Relax • E = Express yourself • L = Let others help • A = Allow positive thoughts • X = eXercise

  20. Coping Strategies

  21. Session 3: Change What You Do-- Communication • Assertive Communication • Use of “I statements” • Refusing unsafe sexual advances • Initiating conversations on safer sex • Negotiating safer sex

  22. Session 4:Condoms & Relationships • Proper and consistent condom use skills O = Open P = Pinch R = Roll A = After sex H = Hold • Using condoms protects their health as well as partners • Safer Sex Jeopardy – reinforced factural knowledge

  23. Thank You Wingood GM, DiClemente RJ. The WiLLOW Program. Eds. Pequegnat W, Szapocznik J. Working with families in the era of HIV/AIDS. Sage Publications, Inc. Pp. 281-301. • Healthy relationships/Unhealthy relationships • Local domestic violence services