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Honor Society of Nursing Recognizes Researcher of HIV Risk Prevention for Poor and Underserved


In recognition of her research and development of strategies to reduce HIV risk-associated sexual behaviors among African-American, South-African and Latino youth and adults, the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International, announced the selection of Loretta Sweet Jemmott, PhD, RN, FAAN, to receive The Baxter International Foundation’s 2007 Episteme Award.

Jemmott was presented with the $15,000 award at a special ceremony at the honor society’s biennial convention, held November 2-7, 2007, in Baltimore, Md. The Baxter International Foundation sponsors the Episteme Award, presented and selected by the honor society.

Jemmott is professor and director of the Center for Health Disparities Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. She has built an internationally recognized program of research on HIV prevention interventions for poor and underserved populations.

Jemmott developed the “Sister to Sister HIV Risk-Reduction Intervention,” an evidenced-based, 20-minute HIV risk-reduction intervention program. The intervention is culturally sensitive, engaging, and gender specific, and can be integrated into primary care clinical practices by nurses and other health care providers. The one-on-one skill-building exercises stress the importance of using condoms to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections and HIV.

Jemmott’s multifaceted research integrates reasoned action, planned behaviors and social cognition with five goals: explain the underlying social psychology factors that create risky sexual behavior; identify theory-based, culturally sensitive and developmentally appropriate strategies to reduce risk; test the effectiveness of interventions using scientifically rigorous methodologies and experimental design; answer practical questions regarding effective implementation; and disseminate evidence-based curricula.

Jemmott has received numerous awards for her significant contributions to the profession, the field of HIV prevention research and the community, including recognition from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She has been published in more than 70 peer-reviewed articles and books.

Jemmott received a bachelor of science in nursing from the Hampton Institute of Nursing, and a master of science in nursing and doctoral degree in human sexuality education from the University of Pennsylvania. Her campus positions at the University of Pennsylvania include assistant provost for gender and minority equity issues and co-chair of the Center for AIDS Research Behavior and Social Science Research Core.


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