Texas Black Women’s Initiative: Change Begins With Me...HIV Ends With Us

In October 2010, the TB/HIV/STD Unit at the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) in partnership with the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) (“The Leadership Team”) established the Texas Black Women’s Initiative (BWI) during a meeting in Houston, Texas. The Initiative was an effort to address the striking disparity of HIV/AIDS cases in Black women living in the state of Texas. The following eight regional teams were created and given a charge of developing action plans and implementing activities in their respective communities that align with the Initiative’s Goals, Objectives, and Logic Model.

  • Austin
  • Dallas
  • Fort Worth
  • Golden Triangle
  • Houston
  • San Antonio
  • 4/5N-Northeast (Tyler)
  • Texas Department of Criminal Justice

The Partnership

In collaboration with the BSSV Program, the Initiative’s Leadership Team evaluated each regional team’s participation after a one year performance period. In October 2011, under the guidance of BSSV staff, Gilda Medina, a BSSV, along with a group of other graduate students pursing masters and doctoral degrees in the School of Public Health from the University of Texas Health Science Center Houston (UTHSCH) and its regional campus in San Antonio formed an evaluation team. Along with support of the Associate Dean of Public Health Practice at UTHSCH, the team began a systematic evaluation of documented action plans and activities for each of the regions. Findings from the first year of implementing the Initiative revealed amazingly creative strategies used by the regions to address the impact of HIV/AIDS in their respective communities. These findings were also presented by the BSSV CBA Coordinator at an Annual Summit in Dallas in December 2011.

As the Initiative grows and develops, the BSSV Program is working with the Leadership Team to provide effective capacity building assistance (CBA) support to each of the regional teams. A unique group of BSSVs have been identified who will be providing direct one-on-one CBA to each regional team.

The BSSV Program envisions that this model will be expanded to other states facing the challenge of maximizing the use of limited resources to have large scale high impact HIV Prevention. The Initiative has shown to be a very cost-effective and amazing way to increase awareness, empowerment and education of Black women, and increasing community collaborations and partnerships to address the HIV epidemic in regional communities.

Evaluation Report and Summit Presentation Materials

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