WHAT IS WOMAN TO WOMAN?

Woman to Woman is a HIV/AIDS education, prevention and intervention program for at-risk women and their partners. Founded in 1992, through a grant from the Indiana State Department of Health, the program was initially designed to meet the needs of at-risk African-American women in Indianapolis. Presently, Woman to Woman is the only comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention program in Indiana. Additionally, it is one of the few successful comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention program for women in the United States.

Subsequently, the program strives to approach HIV prevention in a holistic fashion addressing issues such as poverty, gender, inequality, domestic violence, sexual abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, and substance use/abuse. These issues and others such as poor self-esteem, ineffective communication/negotiation skills, and lack of access to health care; have been identified as contributory factors that place women at increased risk to a variety of social illnesses.

These are the facts of life....HIV is real. Women are the fastest growing group of people infected and affected by HIV disease. But, They donít have to be because HIV is preventable. It can be hard talking , thinking or reading about sex. A lot of women have been taught not to talk about sex or their own sexuality. Sometimes even women who appear to be confident about their sexual ability or talents have difficulty sharing their most intimate thoughts and feelings with their partner or even communicating their sexual wants and needs. Talking about safer sex can create an avenue for those conversations to occur. When you talk about safer sex you share your most intimate thoughts, feelings, and fears about HIV/AIDS and learn about your partnerís feelings about exploring other forms of intimacy. Although having these sorts of intimate and personal conversation may at first seem difficult, they can lead you into a healthier and more satisfying relationship.

The Program Offers Women:

"For women, safer sex is about having power. Power in terms of feeling valuable, feeling worthwhile, having a high enough self-esteem to want to protect ourselves. Power in our relationships: being able to hold our ground and persuade a sex partner who endangers us by not using protection. Power in our friendships to support us in protection ourselves. The power of feeling proud of our sexuality. There power, too. Of speaking openly about sex, even when it is hard talk about. Finally, our power to protect ourselves is weakened by drugs and alcohol; if we are addicted, the power we depends on access to affordable treatment All women deserve the power to keep ourselves and loved ones healthy." From The New Our Bodies p. 338.

Components of the Basic Woman to Woman Program

At home, tupperware styled parties/presentations are the cornerstone of the Woman to Woman program. These parties are fun, interactive, informational sessions that are peer lead and flexible. They allow women to not only obtain accurate and factual information about HIV/AIDS but also information about domestic violence, substance use/sbuse, sexually transmitted diseases, birth control, or relationships. Following the "party plan model", hostesses are recruited from vaious communities and are encouraged to invite their friends, relatives, neighbors, and co workers to attend their party, this helps ensure an initimate environment is established where thes sorts of converstions can freely occur. In addition to the aforementioned, participants are also provided risk reduction materials. They also have the opportunity to dialogue and get feedback for their peers regarding how to implement their risk reduction plans in there lives. For the duration of their involvement with the program, participants are provided with unlimited safer sex supplies and support.

Woman to Woman is:

A program designed by women, for women.

It works by woman to empower women to make their own safe, responsible and healthly life choices.

For more information contact us at:

Woman to Woman
c/o Indiana Cares
3951 N. Meridian Street, Ste. 101
Indianapolis, IN 46208
(317) 920-1200

If you have comments or suggestions, email us at

womantowoman@minfod.com

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