Georgia Program Focuses On HIV In African-American Women

chronicle@michronicleonline.com | 2/19/2014, 9:39 a.m.
<div><p></p><noscript></noscript><p>According to the Center of Disease Control’s most recent report, <strong>Georgia</strong> ranks sixth in the country in reported AIDS cases. ...

According to the Center of Disease Control’s most recent report, Georgia ranks sixth in the country in reported AIDS cases. Now, a program aims to curtail the rates of infection using a variety of approaches towards African-American women who are diagnosed 12 times more than their White counterparts.

SEE ALSO: Nationwide Study To Examine Why Black Gay And Bisexual Men Face Increased Risk Of HIV

Dr. Lara Stepleman, Director of HIV Psychological Services at Georgia Regents Health System, previously worked in Illinois and mostly experienced instances of White men while performing her work. When she moved to Georgia, she saw that African-Americans made up the largest group of those stricken with HIV.

With a federal grant of $1.6 million behind her, Dr. Stepleman has launched the SHE PREVAILS (Supporting Health Engagement through Prevention, Recovery, and Empowerment Via Access, Intervention, and Linkage Services) in order to service that community.

Georgia Health News has more:

An Augusta (Georgia) program, though, is helping African-American women get treatment for substance abuse and mental health problems, two factors that increase the risk of getting an HIV infection or spreading it. The program, SHE PREVAILS, is funded by a three-year, $1.6 million federal grant.

“We want to help women become empowered to take care of their sexual health, to protect themselves, to negotiate complex relationships,” says the program’s director, Lara Stepleman, a psychologist at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University. “The idea behind all of this it to help reduce HIV spread.”

Dr. Stepleman explains SHE PREVAILS and the scope of her work in the video clip below:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hwl1AsITulo%5D

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