Theatre; HIV/AIDS; African-American women; educational interventions


Community Psychology | Health Psychology | Public Health


Rates of HIV/AIDS transmission have increased substantially, particularly among young African American women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HIV/AIDS is the number one killer for African American women aged 25 to 34. Given that many of these young women are contracting the disease in their late teens and early twenties, there is a need to develop interventions that directly address the needs of this group. The current study sought to assess the effectiveness of theater in increasing knowledge of HIV/AIDS and the likelihood of healthier sexual behavior and choices among 219 young African American women 18 to 39 years of age. Paired sample t-tests revealed that there were significant mean differences in knowledge and intended safe sex behavior after viewing the play. Young women who viewed the play reported increased knowledge of HIV and reported a higher likelihood of engaging in safer sex. Given the high rates of HIV/AIDS among young African American women, more innovative educational and prevention techniques are needed.