Adapting an Evidence-Based HIV-Prevention Intervention for Women in Domestic Violence Shelters

Courtenay E. Cavanaugh, Jacquelyn Campbell, Nikia Braxton, Jenna Harvey, Gina Wingood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Despite the documented intersection of intimate partner violence (IPV) and HIV, there is a paucity of evidence-based HIV prevention interventions for female survivors of IPV in the United States. This article describes the adaptation of an effective HIV prevention intervention, Sisters Informing Sisters About Topics on AIDS (SISTA), for women in domestic violence shelters and the steps taken to improve the adapted intervention's implementation. Method: The adaptation process was guided by the ADAPT-ITT framework and data collected from directors, direct client service providers, and residents of 2 domestic violence shelters located in urban areas, as well as topical experts. Results: Eleven of 12 shelter staff (92%) reported that HIV interventions had never been implemented at their shelter and 64% reported they had not provided residents with educational brochures about HIV prevention. Changes made to adapt SISTA for this population and enhance the implementation of the intervention included reducing the intervention's duration; adding education about the intersection of IPV, substance use, and HIV; and adding an HIV risk assessment and safety plan. Conclusions: Next steps will include implementing the adapted intervention and evaluating its perceived acceptability and efficacy, and assessing whether contextual factors influence the intervention's implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-477
Number of pages9
JournalPsychology of Violence
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • HIV
  • domestic violence
  • intimate partner violence
  • sexual risk behavior
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology


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