The S.H.A.R.E research study is designed to address some of the reasons why the prevalence of HIV/AIDS is experienced disproportionately among African American women. Women of color worldwide are affected by HIV/AIDS at rates far higher than any other race. In the last decade, the incidence of HIV/AIDS in these communities saw a slight decline. In 2016, African American women accounted for 4,560 (61%) of the estimated new HIV infections among all women (CDC, 2018). This is an alarming statistic as African American women over the ages of 18 make up only 13% of the female population, yet account for the majority of new HIV/AIDS cases. This statistic demonstrates the need to develop programs focusing on African women and their daughters.
Nationwide, African American youth represent one of the fastest-growing HIV risk groups with nearly 60% of all new HIV infections among adolescents aged 13-24 (CDC, 2018). Among adolescent females, the rate of new HIV infections is six times higher than that of young Hispanic females and twenty times higher than White females (CDC, 2014). Additionally, African American females report earlier sexual debut, less condom use, more adolescent pregnancy, and a higher rate of sexually transmitted infections when compared with other racial and ethnic groups.
African American daughters have been found to be more parent-oriented, perceive greater support from parents, and are more likely to prefer parents to peers as sources of sexual and contraceptive information than their counterparts of other races/ethnicities (Cedarbaum, 2012). Among sexually active adolescents, parent-child sexual risk communication has been associated with more responsible sexual attitudes and behaviors, including more frequent and consistent condom use, sexual risk communication, and self-efficacy (Henrich et al, 2003). Therefore, mothers who have tested positive for HIV are essential in this study to help promote HIV prevention activities, as the continued high HIV risk for African American female adolescents necessitates sustained efforts to develop innovative HIV risk reduction interventions for this population.