Effectiveness of a Federal Healthy Start Program on HIV/AIDS Risk Reduction among Women in Hillsborough County, Florida

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To examine the impact of the Central Hillsborough Healthy Start Project (CHHS) on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) diagnosis rates in women in Hillsborough County, Florida.


Project records were linked to hospital discharge data and vital statistics (Florida, 1998–2007; N = 1,696,221). The χ2 test was used to compare rates for HIV/AIDS and pregnancy-related complications for mothers within the CHHS service area with mothers in Hillsborough County and the rest of Florida.


During a 10-year period, HIV/AIDS diagnosis rates among women in the CHHS service area declined by 56.3% (P = 0.01). The observed decline was most evident among black women. HIV/AIDS diagnosis rates in the rest of Hillsborough County and Florida remained unchanged (P = 0.48).


Lessons learned from the CHHS Project can be used to develop effective and comprehensive models for addressing the HIV epidemic.

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