The Women’s HIV/Sexual Violence Initiative was a collaborative effort among five partner agencies: AIDS Project Worcester (APW), Family Health Center of Worcester, Inc., Pernet Family Health Service, Rape Crisis Center of Central MA, and YWCA Daybreak. The premise of the project was to address the high rates of HIV/AIDS disease among women in Central Massachusetts; with specific attention to women who have a history of or are experiencing sexual violence.
APW staff worked in the community to educate women about the risk factors related to sexual violence, STDs and HIV/AIDS. Project staff visited more than 50 agencies over the course of this project and screened more than 1,000 women. In 2009, 480 women were screened and 147 participated in the program.