AMSA's Local Chapter Project Directory

Project title Sisters Sharing Stories: A Conference for HIV Positive Women
Project type(s) Community Service,School Service,Speaker
Date completed 03/2008
Chapter University of Illinois COM @ Chicago
Project Coordinator Jing Luo
Summary of project This was a conference sponsored by UIC AMSA and a local nonprofit service organization called the Chicago Womens AIDS Project. The conference was designed for the post part by HIV positive women, in order to serve the needs of HIV positive women. Only people who identified as HIV positive and women were allowed to register for the free conference.

Over 150 local women in Chicago registered and roughly 75% of that group showed up on a snowy Saturday in order to hear the featured speakers, share stories, and attend workshops. These workshop topics were chosen by a planning committee comprised of HIV positive women. They included: finding affordable housing, healing from physical and psychological abuse, young women's group, putting yourself first, getting help with depression, finding a better job, dealing with relapse, and getting what you want.

Breakfast, lunch, dessert, bus cards, and daycare was provided for the day long conference. Many of the women reported that they could not have attended if there was not daycare provided for their children.

On a review of evaluations, almost all women reported satisfaction with the conference and suggested that another one be held next year (perhaps in the Spring when the weather is nicer). They also reported that they felt safe and confidential at the site, that the conference seemed professional, and that the liked being able to share stories with peers on a day that was only for HIV positive women.

Content area HIV/AIDS
Number of participants 100
Participant hours involved 80 hour(s)
Coordinator roles
Coordinator hours hour(s)
Total project cost 2000
Project funding Local chapter funds,Medical school funds,AMSA grant,Other grant
Funding breakdown of sources and/or donations:
Project advertising Community clinics, HIV clinics, HIV service organizations in Chicago, email listservs of groups working with HIV+ populations, hispanic service organizations. Yes, the flyering and emailing and personal contacts worked.
Success rating
(1 = unsuccesful, 5 = very successful)
Lessons/suggestions Spanish translation was needed for keynote speakers, and for workshops. Many of the spanish speaking only HIV positive women felt this was an important part of the conference that was lacking.

Comments Please include daycare if you expect women to show up, even on Saturday.