Last modified: Wednesday, March 30, 2005
AIDS in the countryside
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- 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.
"AIDS in rural America is often isolated and forgotten. As a consequence, rural prevention efforts are under-funded," said William L. Yarber, senior director of the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention and professor of applied health science at Indiana University in Bloomington.
RCAP is the only prevention center in the country to exclusively address HIV/AIDS and STDs in rural communities. "Our center fills a void in AIDS/STD prevention and research," Yarber said. "We serve the heartland."
RCAP will co-sponsor its fourth biennial national conference April 7-9 at IU Bloomington. The conference will feature over 45 rural prevention specialists from 18 states. Presentations will include research on rural populations such as teen-agers, men who have sex with men, and African American communities. Speakers will also address emerging HIV/AIDS concerns among older women, methamphetamine users and homeless women.