Black Women First Initiative

The Black Women First Initiative supports the design, implementation, and evaluation of bundled evidence–informed interventions for Black women with HIV.

These interventions include:

  • Enhanced patient navigation, case management or peer engagement
  • Red Carpet Care experience to address barriers to HIV care
  • Stigma reduction interventions
  • Use of Trauma Informed Care interventions
  • Self-efficacy, health literacy and resiliency interventions
  • Interventions to address Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), sexual violence or other behavioral needs

Benefits of bundled interventions include:

  • Addressing socio-cultural health determinants
  • Expanding delivery and utilization of comprehensive HIV care and treatment services
  • Supporting continuous engagement in care
  • Improving health outcomes for Black women with HIV in a culturally sensitive and responsive manner.

This initiative is supported by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health Minority HIV/AIDS Fund (MHAF) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), HIV/AIDS Bureau, Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) program.

Demonstration Sites

The initiative provided funding to the following 12 demonstration sites across the country:


Evaluation and TA Center

The Evaluation and Technical Assistance Provider, The University of Massachusetts (UMass) at Lowell in partnership with AIDS United, Boston University Center for Innovation in Social Work & Health, and Impact Marketing + Communications, lead a multi-site evaluation, provide technical assistance and disseminate findings and lessons learned from this initiative. 

Resources from our Demonstration Site Partners

Video: Taking Care of Me, produced by G.E.M.S./AccessMatters

This video illustrates the journey of one woman upon testing positive for HIV, and highlights the importance of seeking medical care.

Remote video URL

Contact Information

Project Contacts:

Serena Rajabiun, PhD, MA, MPH
Assistant Professor
University of Massachusetts, Lowell

HRSA Contacts:

PO Name
Corliss Heath, PhD, MPH, MDiv
PO Title
Health Scientist
PO Phone


Funding Mechanism: Cooperative Agreement

Recipient Organization: University of Massachusetts, Lowell

Grant number: U90HA39727

Project Period: 2020 – 2024