Mary Hawk, DrPH, is a visiting assistant professor of behavioral and community health sciences at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. She has worked with TGP since its start. In 2009, she began a study to see how well TGP worked. Dr. Hawk helped the original group of women who created TGP to recruit 149 African American women to take part in the study. The results showed that women who went to TGP parties improved their scores on surveys that tested what they knew about HIV risks. Women who went to parties also reported increases in how often they used condoms during vaginal sex. In addition, 87 percent of women who attended parties were tested for HIV, and all of the women who were tested returned to get their test results.
These findings tell us that a model like TGP may be an important way to reduce HIV infections among African American women. It may also increase the number of women who get tested for HIV. If you would like to learn more about The Girlfriends Project, contact Pamela Smith at 412-345-7456, ext. 576.