Sister to Sister

Sister to Sister is a risk-reduction behavioral intervention for sexually active African American women ages 18-45. Delivered during a routine medical visit, Sister to Sister aims to enhance women’s knowledge, beliefs, confidence, and skills to help reduce their risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), especially HIV.

African-American doctor consulting with another African-American woman

About Sister to Sister

Sister to Sister is a brief (20-minute), one-on-one, skill-based HIV/sexually transmitted disease (STD) risk reduction behavioral intervention that is highly structured and is implemented in primary health care settings by nurses, health educators, or other professional clinic staff using a scripted teaching guide. It is educational, engaging, and gender-appropriate; it uses videos, brainstorming, demonstrations, and skills-building activities. It is designed to be easily integrated into the health care provider’s standard clinical practice. As such, Sister to Sister is an effective tool for addressing the needs of both patients and providers in primary health care settings.

Intervention Goals

  • To provide intensive, culturally sensitive health information to empower and educate women in a clinical setting.
  • To help women understand the various behaviors that put them at risk for HIV and other STDs.
  • To enhance women’s knowledge, beliefs, motivation, confidence, and skills to help them make behavioral changes that will reduce their risk for STDs, especially HIV.

Intervention Core Elements

  • Bolster outcome expectancies regarding condom use.
  • Teach, demonstrate, and practice negotiation and refusal skills.
  • Condom use demonstration.
  • Build self-efficacy to empower the women to want to be safe sexually.

Target Population

  • Sexually active women ages 18-45 at high risk for STD and HIV attending primary health care clinics.

Sister to Sister Training

This training has one component:

  • One 1-day classroom training

To view and register for scheduled classroom trainings:

  1. Access the National HIV Classroom Learning Center training calendarexternal icon hosted on Cicatelli Associates, Inc.’s (CAI’s) website.
  2. Pre-register for your selected course via the link provided in the training calendar.
  3. Complete your registration on CDC TRAINexternal icon as directed when you receive an email from the National HIV Classroom Learning Center. You must join the HIV CBA Learning Group and locate the HIV CBA Training Plan in order to complete your CDC TRAIN registration for a specific classroom session (step-by-step instructionspdf iconexternal icon are available).

To access eLearning modules, including classroom training prerequisite courses:

  1. Log-in to CDC TRAINexternal icon and access the HIV CBA Training Plan (step-by-step instructionspdf iconexternal icon are available).
  2. Select the module you wish to take.
  3. Launch the module or save the module for later.

To request that a classroom training be scheduled:

  1. CDC’s directly funded health department and CBO partners may request delivery of a CDC-supported training by submitting a request in the CBA Tracking System.
  2. Organizations not directly funded by CDC may contact their local health department for assistance in submitting a training request.

If you have questions or need additional assistance, please contact or

Implementation and Marketing Materials

The materials and resources listed below support the implementation and/or marketing of Sister to Sister by health departments, community-based organizations, and health care or other organizations. The resources are evidence-based and designed for cost-effective, scalable implementation.

  • Jemmott LS, Jemmott JB, O’Leary A. Effects on sexual risk behavior and STD rate of brief HIV/STD prevention interventions for African American women in primary settings. Am J Public Health 2007;97(6):1034-1040.