SMART (Sisterhood Mobilized for AIDS/HIV Research & Treatment) started with SMART University, the core component of SHE (SMART Health Education). In 1998, a group of women met in various donated spaces throughout East Harlem, New York in order to gain knowledge about what it means to be a women living with HIV/AIDS. Our gender-specific, sequenced educational model emerged from these early classes to provide a holistic approach to treatment and health education for women. At the heart of SMART, our mission is to improve the quality of life for our participants. We believe that knowledgeable and healthy women are the foundation for a strong and health community. We have evolved our education and leadership opportunities to address the health disparities inherent in our community and the intersecting issues of HIV/AIDS and other issues that affect the health of our community.
Nutrition education and access to high quality foods is essential to our vision. We are proud of our unique hands-on approach to nutrition education through our SMART Body class, our SMART cookbook, SMART’s Kitchen Table (a free copy is available for you to download – simply click on the ‘Cookbook’ menu item above), and our newest project, SMART’s Mobile Cooking Classroom. We will bring our successful curriculum to the streets of our community. Learn more about our passion for good food in the video below.
The world has changed since 1998, and SMART has adapted as well. SMART Youth began in 2005 for young adults living with or affected by HIV/AIDS to have a safe space to learn important health information and life skills. Their goal is to share accurate and youth-specific sexual health information to all adolescents in New York City. This leadership and youth development program for adolescents ages 13-22 serves as a resource for schools, clinics and other youth organizations.
As we build a powerful community of women and youth at SMART, we recognize the growing number of health concerns impacting them such as diabetes, Hepatitis C, cardio-vascular disease, etc. SMART is collaborating with COPE in adapting our SMART University curriculum into Get SMART About Hepatitis C, an innovative wrap-around approach to prepare our community for a cure.