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William F. Connell School of Nursing

Associate Professor Rosanna DeMarco Recognized by Norbert Hardner Foundation

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Rosanna DeMarcoDr. Rosanna DeMarco, Associate Professor, has received research funding from the Norbert Hardner Foundation to continue her prevention intervention work with women of color living with HIV/AIDS entitled Culturally Relevant Prevention Education For Older HIV Seropositive African American Women: A Peer-Led Approach In Inner City Boston.

Dr. DeMarco in partnership with SistahPowah, a grassroots community initiative of older women living with HIV/AIDS, and Women of Color AIDS Council/Women Connecting and Affecting Change (WCAC), a well-established HIV/AIDS prevention center for women, will expand a successful HIV/AIDS education prevention program geared to older African American women living with HIV/AIDS to obtain ethnic-specific data on how best to approach prevention for seropositive, poor, older African American women in the inner city of Boston. 

This study includes economic, community, societal, emotional and cultural considerations in the design of an effective positive prevention program for economically challenged women of color.  This group is one of the fastest growing cohorts of HIV seropositive people with sobering health related consequences that include quality of life, and the cost of and access to health care.  Although research has examined the types of prevention that are most effective, few studies have taken into account all of the above factors while focusing exclusively on the high-risk group of African American women.

The principal investigator, Dr. Rosanna DeMarco, a community health clinician and researcher at Boston College, currently collaborates with SistahPowah and WCAC to discover positive prevention education methods that are gender sensitive and culturally relevant for women of varying ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, and to share evaluation findings with other AIDS Service organizations to address common prevention needs of older African American women of living with HIV/AIDS.  This study will build on this partnership to establish an HIV/AIDS prevention program that has been demonstrated by current research to affect greater healthcare adherence, decreased perceived stigma, and increased self-advocacy in intimate relationships.   Unlike other studies, however, the project will focus on a culturally relevant education prevention program recognized as critical to HIV positive prevention in African American women.