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Click here for the press release about our program launch.
Today, women of African descent are disproportionately impacted by health disparities, including HIV/AIDS. AIDS is the #1 cause of death for black women ages 25-34 in the United States;1 and half of all new infections in this country occur in young people under age 25.2 HIV and AIDS disproportionately affect black women—especially young black women and adolescent girls residing in the Southern region of the United States.3-5 Moreover, black women comprise the majority of AIDS cases among women in Atlanta;6 and 85% of reported AIDS cases from 1983-2001 among black heterosexual youth ages 13-19 years old in Georgia occurred among black girls.7 In addition, rates of HIV/AIDS are increasing at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the southeastern United States.8 HIV prevention initiatives have failed to significantly reduce racial/ethnic health disparities in HIV transmission among black women and girls.
Click here for more information about the impact of HIV/AIDS on black women in Atlanta, GA.
Click here for more information about Young African American Women and HIV.
As black young women and girls continue to be unequally burdened by racial/ethnic health disparities, programmatic responses are needed to help improve our health outcomes. It is critical that young women take action to increase awareness about health disparities in our communities. Since our inception in 2001, HOTGIRLS has been committed to designing and implementing innovative initiatives to educate women and youth about HIV/AIDS, violence against women and girls, and related health issues. By working with college students, we believe that we can strengthen our efforts to improve the health and lives of young women and girls.
We are pleased to announce that HOTGIRLS established a Young Women’s Leadership Council funded by Advocates for Youth’s Young Women of Color Initiative in January 2007. The HOTGIRLS Council is a peer health education and mentoring program for female students (freshmen, sophomores, and juniors) enrolled at historicaly black colleges and universities (HBCU’s) in Atlanta, GA. By training female college students in women’s and girls’ health, peer leadership, and youth organizing, we hope to cultivate future leaders who are dedicated to taking action to create social change for women and girls of color.
- The program includes an intense two-day training conducted in partnership with Advocates for Youth.
- For the remainder of the program, participants gain leadership experience by planning, implementing, and evaluating culturally relevant programming for college students and young women and girls residing in the Atlanta metropolitan area.
- Participants also partner with teen girls participating in HOTGIRLS programs to organize an annual girls’ summit and develop health education materials designed to reach young women and girls in the Atlanta metropolitan area and via the Web.
- Participants mentor HOTGIRLS Youth Advisors and serve as moderators and peer educators on the IAmWorthIt.org web site for teen girls.
- The YWLC advises HOTGIRLS on our health education initiatives for young women and girls.
- One Council member (Idia) was selected to serve on Advocates for Youth’s national Young Women of Color Leadership Council and four members were selected to serve on Advocates for Youth’s Campus Organizing Team (Kristina, Diana, Salimah, and Tanisha)
Throughout the program, participants receive support and direction from HOTGIRLS staff and advisors, which includes public health researchers, health educators, activists, and health professionals.
1. Anderson R.N. & Smith B.L. (2000). Deaths: leading causes for 2002. National Vital Statistics Reports, 53(17), 67-70. Retrieved December 20, 2006 from: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr53/nvsr53_17.pdf
2. Office of National AIDS Policy (2000). Youth and HIV/AIDS 2000: A New American Agenda. Washington, DC: White House.
3. Advocates for Youth (2006). Young African American Women and HIV. Washington, Retrieved November 14, 2006 from: http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/frtp/youngaawomen.pdf
4. Rangel, M. C., Gavin, L., Reed, C., Fowler, M. G., & Lee, L. M. (2006). Epidemiology of HIV and AIDS among adolescents and young adults in the United States. Journal of Adolescent Health, 39, 156-163.
5. Stokes, C.E. (2007, March-April). Representin’ in cyberspace: Sexual scripts, self-definition, and hip hop culture in black American adolescent girls’ home pages. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 9(2): 169-184.
6. Georgia Department of Human Resources. (2002a). Women and AIDS in Georgia, from: http://www.dhr.state.ga.us
7. Georgia Department of Human Resources. (2002b). Epidemiologic profile for HIV prevention community planning in Georgia, from: http://health.state.ga.us/pdfs/epi/hiv_aidsprofile.02.pdf
8. Thompson-Robinson, M.V., Richter, D.L., Shegog, M.L., Weaver, M., Trahan, L., Sellers, D.B., & Brown, V.L. (Fall 2005). Perceptions of partner risk and influences on sexual decision-making for HIV prevention among students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Journal of African American Studies, 9 (2), 16-28.