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Last modified: Monday, March 6, 2006

Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention receives $1.3 million to continue services

Indiana University center funded for another five years

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention received a five-year, $1.3 million renewal of its cooperative agreement with the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The renewal began on March 1 and allows the Indiana University-based center to continue its work as the only organization in the country that focuses solely on rural prevention efforts for HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. This brings federal funding for the 12-year-old center to more than $3.5 million.

William L. Yarber

Print-Quality Photo

Willliam L. Yarber, senior director for RCAP, said the center's work is just one way IU's Department of Applied Health Science contributes to the university's growing acclaim in the life sciences. People diagnosed with AIDS who live in rural areas now account for 8 percent of all cases nationwide, up from 5 percent in 1996. Despite these growing numbers, most AIDS control strategies have focused on urban communities.

"There are ways to control infectious diseases, but certainly prevention is one way that is increasingly being recognized as a strategy," said Yarber, a professor in the Department of Applied Health Science. "It's invaluable that the rural community have a voice and a resource it can turn to that focuses exclusively on its issues."

RCAP was created to promote HIV/STD prevention in rural America, with the goal of reducing HIV/STD incidence. It serves as an information resource for prevention specialists nationwide through its fact sheets, newsletters, networking and biennial conference, and by conducting research on risk behavior in rural communities. The center recently developed prevention guidelines for America's native populations. Guidelines for HIV/STD prevention using minimal resources -- common in rural areas -- will be developed next, Yarber said.

RCAP is a joint project of IU, the University of Colorado and the University of Kentucky, and is headquartered at IU. Each partner looks at issues specific to its part of the country.

Yarber can be reached at 812-855-7974 and yarber@indiana.edu. For more information about RCAP, visit http://www.indiana.edu/~aids/. The Department of Applied Health Science is in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.