‘Girlfriends’ share info to reduce spread of HIV

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The Girlfriends Project (TGP) is a program designed to reduce the number of African American women who get HIV infections. It’s a special program because it was developed by African American women for African American women. As part of TGP, women throw house parties for their friends, where trained staff members from the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force share HIV education and information. During these parties, women can also get tested for HIV.

TGP was created in 2006 by African American women who were part of the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force. Since then, TGP has reached hundreds of African American women in the Pittsburgh area. Responses to TGP parties have been highly positive. The program builds on the strengths of women and helps them to support one another in staying HIV-negative. It also brings HIV testing and counseling directly to women, rather than asking them to go to an office for an HIV test. It’s important that women know their HIV status as soon after infection as possible. There are free treatments for HIV that work best when infection is caught early. People who have HIV and are treated early usually live long and symptom-free lives.

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