• homeless women;
  • HIV;
  • health promotion


Investigators examined the 6-month impact of three cognitive–behavioral HIV risk-reduction programs on behavioral factors (substance use and sexual risk behaviors) and cognitive and psychological resources of 325 women who resided in emergency or sober-living shelters and their 308 intimate sexual partners. Participants were randomized by shelter to a peer-mentored, a nurse case-managed, or a standard care HIV risk-reduction program. Significant improvements were observed in all groups in all behavioral factors and cognitive and psychological resources except for self-esteem. Participants in the peer-mentored and nurse case-managed groups did not differ significantly from the standard group in self-esteem, life satisfaction, psychological well-being, use of noninjection drugs, sex with multiple partners, and unprotected sex at 6 months (n = 633). It was concluded that a standard approach by health care professionals appears to effectively modify HIV risk behaviors for a majority of homeless participants and may have important economic and policy implications. Further, the impact of short-term programs that address psychological vulnerabilities of impoverished populations needs to be studied further. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Res Nurs Health 24:410–422, 2001