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.

HIV and AIDS: We Are All Part of the Solution

We can all be leaders. We can take more responsibility to do more as individuals, as communities, and as a nation to fight HIV and AIDS.

As individuals:

  • We should know whether or not we are infected with HIV;
  • If we are infected, we should seek medical care and protect others from becoming infected;
  • We should protect ourselves and others from HIV;
  • We should educate ourselves and others about HIV.

As communities:

  • We should mobilize to overcome the challenges and barriers to HIV prevention;
  • We should fight ignorance and complacency related to HIV;
  • We should increase the awareness about the severity of epidemic and the continued impact that HIV is having on our communities;
  • We should make sure that HIV prevention services, HIV testing, medical care and treatment are available to all who need them;
  • We should work to prevent stigma and discrimination—and to increase support for people living with HIV.

As a nation:

  • We must recognize the epidemic here, in this country, for the crisis that it still is;
  • We must implement the programs that scientific evidence tells us are most effective;
  • We must ensure that those who need effective prevention interventions have access to them;
  • We must come together to intensify efforts and the stop this epidemic.

Together, we have the power to change the course of the HIV epidemic in the United States.

How you can help stop the spread of HIV

Visit the Resources section and use the Web tools to help spread the word about HIV/AIDS in the United States. Let everyone know that, in the United States, every 9½ minutes (on average), someone is infected with HIV.

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