SiHLE is a small-group skills training intervention that empowers African-American adolescent females to reduce risk behaviors. Four small group sessions address healthy relationships, communication skills, and risk reduction techniques through interactive discussions, activities, role plays and skill building.

“There is a crisis in the African-American community as you know. Teenage girls are becoming pregnant before they are ready and contracting HIV and other STDs because they don’t know basic sexual health information. For lack of information, young women are suffering needless illness and avoidable lost opportunity.” -US Department of Health and Human Services

Sisters Informing Healing Living and Empowering (SiHLE) is an intervention for reducing HIV/STD sexual risk behavior among African American teenage girls, ages 14 to 18, who have been sexually active. Four 3-hour sessions are delivered by two near-peer facilitators and an adult facilitator in a community-based setting. Near-peer facilitators are young women more mature than the intervention target audience, but with common experiences and culture. SiHLE emphasizes ethnic and gender pride to increase awareness of HIV risk-reduction strategies such as abstaining from sex, using condoms consistently and having fewer sex partners. Sessions are gender-specific and culturally relevant and include behavioral skills practice, group discussions, lectures, role-playing, and take-home exercises.

The objectives of SiHLE are to increase HIV knowledge, to increase the usage of condoms, increase knowledge of assertive communication skills and enhance gender pride for one's gender and ethnic background. The goals of SiHLE are to reduce sexual diseases among females between the ages of 14-18 by increasing consistency in the use of condoms, and learning assertive skills to empower them to lower the risk of becoming HIV positive. The SiHLE mission is to provide the necessary tools needed to empower sexually active teens between the ages of 14-18 to reduce their risk of becoming HIV+, increasing knowledge and encouraging those who choose to remain sexually active to use condoms consistently in their relationships, and to teach teens skills to help empower them to make healthy decisions. Our SiHLE Facilitators are Lalonnie Augustine, Danielle Cottonham, Malika Edmond, Kiera Hebert, Kayla Smith and Iesha Smith.

We would like to congratulate Swan Bonnet and Malika Edmond on their success with the SiHLE program at Acadiana CARES and their honor of being awarded "Trainers of Trainers” certifications in Washington D.C.

Do you know an African-American teenage girls, ages 14 to 18, that might benefit from SiHLE? For more information, please contact Swanzette Bonnet, Director of Prevention and Community Outreach at Acadiana CARES, or by phone at (337) 233-2437 ext. 154.


CARF Accrediation