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IMARA

What is IMARA?

IMARA (Informed, Motivated, Aware, and Responsible about AIDS) is a family-based HIV prevention program that helps African American teenagers and their mothers work together to address risk behavior, improve parent-teen communication, and practice conflict resolution.  IMARA aims to reduce the incidence of HIV in black female populations through strengthening family relationships and reducing sexual behavior that places young women at risk for STIs and HIV.

The IMARA Intervention

The IMARA workshop is a 1 ½ day program conducted over two Saturdays, one week apart.  IMARA brings mothers (or primary female caregivers) and daughters together in groups to work on strengthening the mother-daughter relationship and improving mother-daughter and romantic partner communication skills.  About half of the time in the workshop, mothers and daughters will meet together, and the other half the mothers and daughters will meet in separate groups. Workshop activities focus on reducing risky sexual activity, the importance of healthy peer and partner relationships, increasing HIV and substance use knowledge, and developing positive attitudes toward condom use. Each workshop is led by four African American female staff – two facilitate the mother’s group and two facilitate the girl’s group.   

Ongoing IMARA Grants include:

“An Integrative HIV Prevention Program for African American Mothers and Daughters” (R01MD006198) is a 5-year 2-arm randomized controlled trial to reduce HIV-risk among African American women and daughters receiving mental health services
Principal Investigator: Geri Donenberg, PhD

About Us

We are housed at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health (UIC SPH) and also work in several field station sites throughout the city.  From 2012 to 2016, we ran IMARA workshops at the UIC SPH building; beginning in 2017 we will be expanding our program to the COIP field station sites, which are housed within the neighborhoods in Chicago with the greatest need for HIV prevention services.  We are excited to be bringing this successful workshop program into our COIP field stations, and look forward to providing this valuable resource within the communities that we serve.  We will also be able to offer more resources, including STI/HIV testing, substance use screening, and Hepatitis C screening and linkage to care. 

Contact Us

Our office is located in the UIC School of Public Health building at the corner of Taylor and Ashland. To contact us, please call or email our Project Director, Kelly McCabe, at kmccabe@uic.edu and 312-355-3645.

The IMARA Program
Community Outreach Intervention Projects
University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health
1603 W Taylor St. Chicago, IL 60612

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