Delivering HIV/AIDS care in rural areas is challenging in large part because
of factors that complicate care delivery. Among them: scarcity of trained and
available clinicians; stigma and confidentiality concerns of clients; patient
reluctance to access care due to stigma and other concerns such as attitudes
about health care; geographic distance and lack of transportation; and lack
of health insurance by the low income groups hit hardest by HIV disease.

What can rural providers do? Below are resources to help providers deliver care
to clients with HIV disease or connect them to needed services.

Examples include

where to get training (with an emphasis on distance-based learning); where to
find services; HIV care guidelines; and some best practice ideas about how HIV
care is delivered.

Materials are not always targeted to rural areas — such as
treatment guidelines, which apply to patients regardless of location — but are
equally essential in less-populated areas of the nation.

HIV cases in rural areas have comprised a consistent 5-8% of the national total
for many years. With 20% of the nation classified as rural, cases in rural areas
are not at epidemic levels on that basis.

But there are troubling trends.

One is the preponderance of rural HIV cases in the South and among minority
populations. Most infected individuals are gay/bisexual men, but caseloads
among heterosexuals and women are growing.

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