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Sexual Health

Current Projects

Bridges to Wellness (B-Well)

Contact: Alison Greene (; Josephine Korchmaros (

Bridges to Wellness is an infrastructure and capacity-building project to deliver and sustain prevention services to reduce the onset of substance abuse (SA), HIV, and Viral Hepatitis (VH) among system-involved minority youth ages 13-17 in Tucson and Sells, Arizona. B-Well is a collaboration between SIROW, Intermountain Centers for Human Development, the Pima County Health Department, and the Pima County Community Prevention Coalition. Four project goals include: (1) completion of a needs assessment and strategic plan; (2) mobilization and capacity building to address identified prevention needs; (3) implementation of prevention strategies and programs; and (4) evaluation of program processes and outcomes to assess performance and project impact on behavioral health disparities. The Intermountain infrastructure/capacity-building component includes: a Train-the-Trainer model to train youth professionals to deliver prevention services; developing policies for successful implementation; integrating Intermountain staff into B-Well service delivery; and embedding B-Well project services into existing Intermountain services. Community infrastructure development and capacity-building includes collaborating and coordinating with the Community Prevention Coalition as key stakeholders, and working to increase protective factors in the community through direct and indirect environmental prevention, outreach activities, and social marketing. The prevention component for youth will utilize a Cognitive Behavioral and Motivational Interviewing approach, combining small group evidence-based curricula; individual prevention planning; SA screening; HIV and VH counseling and testing; and active linkages to additional services.


Mujer Saludable on the US-Mexico Border: A Promotora-led Adaptation and Expansion of a Sexual Health Education Curriculum to Address Reproductive Health Needs in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico

Contact: Rosi Andrade (
Funded by the Research Program on Migration and Health (PIMSA)

Mujer Saludable on the US-Mexico Border is a binational research project led by SIROW and and El Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF) to examine and address reproductive health needs and access to reproductive health care in the borderlands. Together, the partners use community-based participatory research methods to collect qualitative data to examine reproductive health needs and access to reproductive health care among women living in a low-resource community in Nogales, Son, MX.  The partners utilize this data and the promotora (i.e., community health worker) model to expand and adapt SIROW-UA’s sexual health curriculum Mujer Saludable to reflect the specific needs of the community. SIROW and COLEF will pilot test the adapted Mujer Saludable-Promotora curriculum with 10 mothers and their adolescent daughters to assess the curriculum for acceptability and its potential to impact teen pregnancy and increase access to reproductive care across the lifespan. The partners utilize research findings to inform health policy at the local, state, national, and international levels.




Completed Projects



The Film and Toolkit Project: A Sexual Health Education and Empowerment Initiative  

Contact: Courtney Waters (
Funded by Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona; July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015

The Film and Toolkit Project is a sexual health education and youth empowerment initiative. The purpose of the project is to ameliorate fear and misinformation around sexual health services and improve youths’ confidence and self-efficacy to take care of their sexual health. Project goals include: (1) empowering high school girls through leadership, sexuality education, and service learning; (2) expanding SIROW’s successful Health Education for Youth (HEY) curriculum through the development of a sexual health education film and toolkit; and (3) increasing youth’s sexual health literacy and access to sexual health services through widespread dissemination of the film and toolkit in schools, clinics, local organizations, and online. The project will directly impact five local high school girls who will be the creators of the sexual health film. The project will also directly and indirectly impact youth living in southern Arizona, and to a lesser extent youth in settings beyond Arizona, through pilot testing and dissemination. Collaborating partners on the Sexual Health Film & Educational Toolkit project include the Pima County Health Department Theresa Lee Clinic, a local feminist videographer, and a female University of Arizona undergraduate mentor.


The ANCHOR Project:

Contact: Claudia Powell (

The ANCHOR Project (Accessible Network for Coordinated Housing, Opportunities and Resilience) is designed to link chronically homeless, transitional age youth and young adults who identify with the identities Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Straight Allies (LGBTQSA) to a trauma-informed system of care that includes linkages to permanent supportive housing and primary health care, case management services, substance abuse and mental health treatment and a wide array of recovery support services.

Stories in Progress: Curriculum and Workshop Series
Funded by UA Institute for LGBT Studies
Contact: Claudia Powell (
The Stories in Progress Project highlighted the application of meaningful and empowering narratives to enrich the self-
awareness and self-worth of its participants. The project centered on the collaborative development of a curriculum for a trauma-
informed workshop series that aimed to foster and sustain positive self-cognition and identity formation by harnessing the power of story and personal narrative. Using a community-based research design, the curriculum for the Stories in Progress Project’s workshop series was developed in consultation with participants who constituted the project’s Curriculum Committee. The project engaged unstably housed LGBTQA young adults in a series of seven weekly workshops at the ANCHOR project site. In these themed sessions, participants had the opportunity to share aspects of their stories and experiences, many of which will involve their gender identities and sexual identities, and were encouraged to apply a positive frame to these stories (e.g., a focus on their endurance, resourcefulness, or bravery).


Contact: Alison Greene (; Monica Davis (

Educación de Salud Sexual was the SIROW HEY (Health Education for Youth) curriculum in Spanish.  This comprehensive sexuality curriculum covered multiple topics to include defining sex and sexuality, pubescent changes, sexually transmitted infections, and safer sex protection methods, among others.  Central themes covered throughout the intervention were self-esteem and self-efficacy, resisting peer pressure, and informed decision making.  ProJoven was recently offered to youth in rural Guanajuato in collaboration with Resplandor International, a non-profit humanitarian organization spearheaded by Dr. Todd Fletcher from the University of Arizona’s College of Education.

ProJoven Links

Información SIROW-HEY

Derechos y Responsabilidades

Learning Through Translation: A SIROW Intern's Experience Translating SIROW's Sexual Education Curriculum into Spanish


Step Forward II

Contact: Claudia Powell (

Step Forward II was a collaboration between CODAC, SIROW, and Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF).  Step Forward II provided outreach, substance abuse prevention and screening services, substance abuse outpatient treatment in conjunction with sexual health education services for youth ages 12 to 17 living in the Tucson, AZ community.  It was a multi-faceted program that provided age-appropriate and interactive programming in a number of locations (charter and alternative schools, substance abuse treatment, juvenile probation and parole).  The outpatient substance abuse treatment was provided by CODAC while the sexual health curriculum was facilitated by staff working for CODAC, SIROW, and SAAF.  The health education component offered a number of interactive curriculum sessions along with HIV testing and counseling.  Youth took part in one or all of program components, based on their level of need.  The program evaluation included a baseline, discharge and 6-month follow-up assessment.  SIROW was responsible for oversight of both sexual health curriculum program fidelity and project evaluation data analysis.  Step Forward II is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration -Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

To view a 2014 sexual health resource guide (Common Sexual Health Questions & Answers: A Guide for Youth and Families) developed by the Step Forward project, click HERE.

To view a 2014 poster representing SIROW-HEY (Health Education for Youth) Curriculum, click HERE. 


The Crossroads Collaborative: Youth Sexuality, Health and Rights

Contact: Sally Stevens, PhD (

Funded by the Ford Foundation (to UA-Family Studies and Human Development (Stephen Russell) and Department of English (Aleda Lacona), The Crossroads Collaborative included University of Arizona (UA) faculty and students and two youth-oriented community partners, Gay-Straight Alliance Network and YWCA Tucson. The collaborative was dedicated to advancing research, graduate training, public conversation, and ultimately social change in the area of youth, sexuality, health, and rights. The Crossroads Collaborative aimed to lead and engage others in an informed and productive dialogue.

Visit the Crossroads Collaborative: Youth Sexuality, Health, and Rights website at:

To view Volume 2 Issue 1 (2013) Research Brief: Click HERE.


i-Team: A Treatment Systems Approach for Homeless LGBTQ Youth.

Contacts: Claudia Powell ( Sally Stevens (

UA-SIROW was working with Our Family Services, Open Inn, Wingspan, CODAC Behavioral Health Services (CODAC), and the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF) to develop and implement “Treatment Empowerment for Adolescents on the Move” (iTEAM); a comprehensive Systems approach for drug/alcohol and mental health treatment for homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth (LGBTQ) and their straight allies. Homeless youth, ages 15 to 23, from diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds were enrolled in the project.

i-Team Links

LGBTQQ Individuals in AZ: iTEAM Project (Adolescents & Young Adults) General Demographics (pdf)
LGBTQQ Individuals in AZ: iTEAM Project (dolescents & Young Adults) Harassment and Abuse (pdf)
LGBTQQ Individuals in AZ: iTEAM Project (Adolescents & Young Adults) Social Support (pdf)

Link to other Research Briefs <link>

To view an iTEAM Community Collaboration poster, clcik HERE.

To view a UA News article written about iTEAM click HERE


HerStory To Health  
Woman’s HIV, STD, Hepatitis B and C, and Mental Health Drug Treatment Enhancement and Program Expansion Project

Contact: Rosi Andrade, PhD. (

The University of Arizona's Southwest Institute for Research on Women in collaboration with The Haven’s Mother and Child residential drug treatment program for women, pregnant women, and women with children; the Pima County Health Department; and Primavera Foundation’s four homeless women’s programs: 1) Casa Paloma's Drop-in Hospitality, 2) Casa Paloma Transitional Housing, 3) Five Points Transitional Housing, and 4) Relief & Referral, implemented HerStory to Health, a comprehensive, gender specific, and culturally competent HIV, STD, and Hepatitis B and C prevention and mental health enhancement project targeting Latinas and African American women enrolled in Primavera’s four programs and The Haven, and through a program expansion based on outreach to enroll homeless women in Primavera programs, all located in Pima County (Tucson), Arizona.

HerStory to Health Links
Research Brief: LGBTQQ Individual in AZ: Herstory General Demographics (pdf)
Research Brief: LGBTQQ Individuals in AZ: Herstory Harassment and Abuse (pdf)
Research Brief: LGBTQQ Individuals in AZ: Herstory Social Support (pdf)

To view a HerStory to Health poster about abortion access disparities in the Southwest, click HERE.

To view a HerStory to Health poster about health consequences and potential solutions, click HERE.


Project DAP (Determining Another Path)

Contact: Sally Stevens (

DAP was an action-research project that provided HIV/STD and sexual health education and disease testing and treatment for adolescents in residential substance abuse treatment.  Project DAP was a collaboration between SIROW, the Arizona Children’s Association (AzCA), and the Pima County Health Department (PCHD). 
Project DAP Links
Pima County Juvenile Court Centers: Make a Change Unit: Preliminary Results (pdf)
DAP Newletters: January 2009, March 2009
DAP Education Video: Snoozefest: The Importance of Sleep (link to YouTube)
DAP Final Progress Report, March 2012 <pdf>


Mujer Sana-Healthy Women (HIV, STD, TB and Hepatitis B+C Drug Treament Enhancement of Women)

Contact: Rosi Andrade, PhD (

In collaboration with three residential drug treatment programs for women, this five-year project developed, implemented and evaluated a culturally competent intervention for mostly economically disenfranchised Mexican American women who had extensive histories of drug use and risky drug and sex behaviors.

Mujer Sana Links

LGBTQQ Individuals in AZ: Mujer Sana-Healthy Women Project (Adult Women) General Demographics (pdf)
LGBTQQ Individuals in AZ: Mujer Sana-Healthy Women Project (Adult Women) Harassment and Abuse (pdf)
LGBTQQ Individuals in AZ: Mujer Sana-Healthy Women Project (Adult Women) Social Support (pdf)

To view the Mujer Sana Grief and Loss Report click HERE
Link to other Research Briefs <link>

Poster Presentation "Measuring Trauma Among Near-Homeless, Substance-using Women" Presented at the Southwestern Social Science Assocuation 2019 Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA by Franziska Frank. Contact:


Cornerstone Project:  Gender Specific Sexual Health Curriculum for Adolescents

Contact: Alison Greene (

SIROW collaborated with Arizona’s Children Association (AzCA) to implement a gender component into AzCA’s Cornerstone Program.  Cornerstone is an adolescent (ages 12-17) outpatient substance abuse treatment program.  Each week SIROW personnel facilitated two separate groups in which youth participants gather to learn about gender issues as they pertain to drugs, crime, sexuality, and relationships.  Gender issues were discussed from social, cultural, and historical perspectives.  Each session included interactive, didactic, and reflective education strategies.  The curriculum was designed so that youth could enter into the gender-specific component at any time.  That is, each curriculum session was able to stand on its own without information from a previous session.  An evaluation was conducted to look at issues of femininity/masculinity and perception changes.  Data collection time periods consisted of a pre (prior to entering the gender component) and a post (upon completion of the gender component) assessment.  The Cornerstone Project was funded by the Community Partnership of Southern Arizona through AzCA.


Human Papillomavirus: An Interdisciplinary Project to Conduct Outreach, Education and Pilot Research with University and Community Partners

Contact: Sally Stevens (

This project was a collaboration of SIROW with the Center for Excellence in Women’s Health (WCoE; a center within the College of Medicine); the Women’s Studies Advisory Council (WOSAC; an advisory council serving the Department of Women’s Studies); and community health centers and schools.  This project included hosting three 2-hour forums (one academic; two community-based) on the topic of human papillomavirus (HPV) and the HPV vaccine.  The academic forum encompassed a scholarly debate on issues surrounding HPV and the vaccine and included panel presentations, followed by audience questions/interaction/debate, and ending with a discussion on research needs and potential collaboration.  The community-based forums (Spanish and English) hosted speakers to give a brief overview of on human anatomy and HPV, followed by information on the HPV vaccines including pros and cons of vaccination and practical details.  This was followed by breakout sessions (students separate from parent/guardians), and then an all-participant session in which representatives from the breakout groups provided a summary of their discussions.  Consensus building completed the forum with participants detailing their community’s needs with regard to HPV prevention and vaccination, health disparities, and other health concerns – informing on needed and next action-research, education and outreach projects on Adolescent Treatment Effectiveness.  This project was funded by the UA–College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.


Mujer Sana, Mujer Saludable: Spanish language HIV & STD Prevention for Latinas

Contact: Rosi Andrade (

Mujer Sana, Mujer Saludable (Healthy Women) translated an innovative HIV/STD, female-centered health curriculum from English to Spanish; and 2) provided this curriculum to 16 to 20 primarily Spanish speaking women, enrolling them in one of two cohorts. Each cohort participated in five 2-hour group sessions that 1) increased knowledge of anatomy, 2) increased knowledge of HIV, 3) increased knowledge of STDs, 4) increased knowledge of TB and Hepatitis B and C, 5) increased understanding of the link between drug use, sexual risk behavior, and HIV and other infectious diseases, 6) increased understanding of how a woman’s life context (i.e., culture, gender roles, peer and significant other relationships) impacts HIV and other health-related risk behaviors, 7) increased ability to negotiate safe sex,  8) increased the number of women who receive HIV, STD, TB, and Hepatitis B and C testing/treatment/immunizations by offering referrals for health testing, and 9) provided program evaluation (i.e., attendance compliance, baseline interview, pre/post tests, and participant satisfaction and feedback).  Mujer Sana, Mujer Saludable was funded by The Stocker Foundation and a UA Women’s Studies Department/SIROW fellowship award.


Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender (LGBT) Research Cluster

Contact: Sally Stevens (

The LGBT Research Cluster was a research study group comprised of UA and community professionals.  Activities included: 1) analyzing, interpreting and disseminating outcome findings with regard to data collected from participants enrolled in the Eon Project, and 2) using this information to illuminate critical research questions and accelerate a research agenda with regard to LGBT, queer and questioning (LGBTQQ) adolescents and young adults.  The Eon Project was a federally-funded, early intervention action-based research project serving LGBTQQ and their straight allies.  A total of 268 participants (ages 13 to 23 years) were enrolled into the Eon Project.  Youth participated in a baseline interview followed by an early intervention group-level curriculum targeting substance use, HIV and STD prevention, identity and sexuality, and the development of resiliency and life skills.  Enrollees also participated in 3, 6, and 12 month follow-up interviews so that changes in knowledge, perceptions, and behaviors could be examined.  The primary assessment used for the Eon Project was the Prism Comprehensive Assessment, an assessment that covered numerous domains of inquiry and included several scales from the Global Assessment of Individual Needs (GAIN).  The LGBT Research Cluster was funded by the UA–Institute for LGBT Studies.


HIV Treatment Expansion Adolescent Study 

Contact: Sally Stevens (

SIROW conducted the evaluation component of this multi-agency treatment expansion project.  This project provided expanded services in the area HIV, STD, Hepatitis, and TB to adolescents enrolled in drug treatment.  The evaluation include conducting baseline, 6 and 12-month follow up assessments to examine changes in knowledge and behaviors with regard to the expanded activities.  There were a total of 518 youth enrolled in the evaluation component of the study, with 92% of the youth completing the 6 month follow-up assessment and 88% completing the 12 month follow-up assessment.  This project was funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration - Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.


The Eon Project: Capacity Enhancement to Improve and Integrate Culturally Relevant Substance Abuse and HIV/AIDS Services

Contact: Claudia Powell (

The Eon Project, a collaboration of five agencies, was a substance abuse capacity expansion effort that offered culturally-specific substance abuse treatment, HIV/AIDS, and support services to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) youth of color and their multi-ethnic peers.  SIROW was contracted to provide the evaluation component.  The goals for Eon Project were to 1) increase availability of culturally responsive substance abuse treatment and HIV prevention/intervention services for GLBT youth of color and their multi-ethic peers, 2) increase the number of GLBT youth of color and their multi-ethnic peers who access and utilize substance abuse prevention/intervention services, 3) expand and support an integrated support system for GLBT youth of color and their multi-ethnic peers, 4) support internal asset development of GLBT youth of color, and 5) increase the number of GLBT youth of color who access HIV/AIDS prevention/care services, including HIV anti-body counseling and testing.  Eon Project was funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration - Center for Substance Abuse Treatment through the Pima County Health Department.

Eon Links:

LGBTQQ Individuals in AZ: Eon Project (Adolescents & Young Adults) General Demographics (pdf)
LGBTQQ Individuals in AZ: Eon Project (dolescents & Young Adults) Harassment and Abuse (pdf)
LGBTQQ Individuals in AZ: Eon Project (Adolescents & Young Adults) Social Support (pdf)

Link to other Research Briefs <link>


Project Own Yourself

Contact: Claudia Powell (

The primary goal of Project Own Yourself was to prevent and reduce substance use and high-risk behaviors that lead to substance abuse and HIV infection, while increasing pro-social behaviors associated with improved health, community involvement, and personal well-being.  The specific objectives of Project Own Yourself include 1) providing culturally responsive substance abuse education to African-American female adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18, 2) encouraging substance abuse prevention by increasing refusal strategies, relationship management skills and community awareness, and 3) increasing knowledge of HIV and AIDS transmission and prevention.  While African-Americans make up a small percentage of the population in Tucson, they are overrepresented in prisons, in substance abuse treatment programs, and in the number of people infected with HIV/AIDS.  Project Own Yourself planned to enroll a total of sixty African-American girls.  The girls participated in four interactive, educational and empowerment sessions focused on substance use and HIV/AIDS, and topics that intersect with substance use and HIV/AIDS.  These prevention sessions were culturally adapted to meet the specific needs of African American girls.  Project Own Yourself was funded by the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona, Unidas Grant.


Youth Empowerment Project: YEP

Contact: Sally Stevens (

The purpose of the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) was to develop and deliver a curriculum that is culturally and gender appropriate for 270 adolescents who are at high risk for using substances and engaging in behaviors that could lead to HIV infection.  Of those youth, 57% were female and 80% were Hispanic.  In addition, YEP included an intervention process and outcome evaluations.  Baseline and 6 and 12-month follow-up assessments were obtained to examine changes in behaviors of the 270 youth enrolled in YEP.  This three-year project, with the Tucson Urban League, was funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration - Center of Substance Abuse Prevention.


Transborder Consortium Health Project

Contact: Sally Stevens (

The Transborder Consortium conducted an analysis of in-depth interviews with health experts from both sides of the Mexico-US border.  The analysis was centered on community health needs, challenges, and viable policy recommendations for gender-informed, regionally-appropriate policy recommendations regarding women’s health in the transborder region, revolving particularly around Arizona, U.S. and Sonora, Mexico.  Recommendations were shared in diverse ways with various audiences concerned with gender and health policy-- from academic researchers to health practitioners to policy makers at local, regional and national levels.  Preliminary findings around varying perceptions about the border region, and the ways those perceptions impact upon assessing needs and proposing changes in health policy, were presented to the Annual Information For Action Border Health Conference held in Tucson, October 27-28, 2005.  Later work further analyzed the interviews and laid the groundwork for a critical deconstruction of ideologies and their impacts on health and health care systems.  The Transborder Consortium presented a human rights framework as the best way to facilitate women’s health and reduce the inefficiencies of negotiating disparate systems and cross-cutting jurisdictions.  The Transborder Consortium was funded by the Ford Foundation.


Transborder Health Consortium: “Women’s Health on the Border” Website

Contact: Sally Stevens (

The Transborder Health Consortium has continued to maintain and add content and resources to its website, “Women’s Health on the Border”.  Through ongoing SIROW support, this bilingual website contains information on women’s health issues specific to women in the border region as well as links to local and regional health providers and informational health resources.  Specific health issues identified by health care workers in the region have been highlighted in a section of periodic issues entitled “¿Qué Me Cuentas. . . ? (What Can You Tell Me About. . . . . ?)”.  Two issues have been developed with a focus on cancer prevention and menopause, and environmental health for women.  The research on these issues was conducted with focus groups of older women in Arizona and Sonora, extensive literature reviews and consultation with medical and lay professionals and residents of the border region.  The information on the website relates to the direct experiences, cultural beliefs and practices, and health care access of women living in the border region.  The information on the website is easily printable for dissemination by health providers and outreach workers.


COPASA (Women-Centered HIV Risk Reduction Research Study)
Sponsor: NIDA
Contact: Sally Stevens, PhD (
This project developed and field-tested a feminist oriented intervention program for women at risk for contracting HIV/AIDS

Copasa Links:

LGBTQQ Individuals in AZ: COPASA (Adult Women) General Demographics (pdf)
LGBTQQ Individuals in AZ: COPASA (Adult Women) Harassment and Abuse (pdf)
LGBTQQ Individuals in AZ: COPASA (Adult Women) Social Support (pdf)

Link to other Research briefs <link>


National AIDS Awareness Day:  Special Population Women and Girls

Contact: Sally Stevens (

SIROW was contracted to organize and host an event that increased AIDS awareness among women and girls.  This event took place at the EON Youth Center.  This project was funded by the Department of Health and Human Services – Office on Women’s Health.


Conexiones Sana/Health Connections
Contact: Sally Stevens, PhD (
Resources; Final Report <pdf>, La Canada Summary Report <pdf>, Publications and Presentations List <pdf>, Youth Questions Report <pdf>, Youth Questions Report Powerpoint <pdf>


My Pregnancy Story Project Final Report pdf



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