The WILLOW intervention is a social-skills building and educational intervention for adult women living with HIV. It consists of 4 four-hour sessions which are delivered by two trained adult female facilitators, one of whom is a woman living with HIV.
The small group sessions consist of 8-10 women living with HIV and are conducted in a community-based setting. An adaptation of the SISTA intervention, WILLOW emphasizes gender pride, informs women how to identify and maintain supportive social networks, teaches coping strategies to reduce life stressors, enhances awareness of STD transmission and HIV reinfection risk behaviors, teaches communication skills for negotiating safe sex, reinforces proper and consistent condom use, distinguishes between healthy and unhealthy relationships, and defines types of abusive relationships and their effect on a woman’s ability to negotiate safer sex practices.
The target population for WILLOW is heterosexual women, regardless of race or ethnicity, living with HIV/AIDS who are 18-50 years of age and who have known their HIV serostatus for at least 6 months.
Wingwood, G. M., DiClemente, R. J., Mikhail, I., Lang, D. L., Hubbard-McCree, D., Davies, S. L., et al. (2004). A randomized controlled trial to reduce HIV transmission risk behaviors and STDs among women living with HIV: The WiLLOW program. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 37, S58-S67.
The CDC requires all CDC-funded agencies using the WILLOW intervention to identify, or establish, and utilize a Program Review Panel and complete Form 0.1113 to document this activity. The intervention researchers and developers are not involved in this activity. This is a CDC requirement for their grantees, and all questions in this regard should be directed to your agency’s CDC Project Officer or to the health department funding your agency’s implementation of the intervention.
The Program Review Panel guidelines, instructions for completion of Form 0.113, and the form itself are available under the Related Links section of the this website.
CDC funded (directly or indirectly) agencies using youth (either paid or volunteer) in program outreach activities need to use caution and judgement in the venues/situations where youth workers are placed. Agencies should give careful consideration to the “age appropriateness” of the activity or venue. Additionally, agencies should comply with all relevant laws and regulations regarding entrance into adult establishments/environments. Laws and curfews should be clearly outlined in required safety protocols developed and implemented by agencies directly and indirectly funded by CDC.
If you have specific questions, please contact your CDC project officer.