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University gets CDC grant for rural HIV research

University gets CDC grant for rural HIV research

The Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention at Indiana University will receive a five-year, $1.2 million grant from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to further its research.

The center, which claims to be the only one in the nation focused on preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases in rural areas, started in 1994 as a partnership with the University of Colorado and Purdue University. As of this month, it became a joint project with the University of Colorado and the University of Kentucky. The universities conduct research and develop fact sheets on HIV and STD prevention in rural areas. In addition, the center sponsors conferences every other year, with the next one scheduled for April 2007.

According to Bill Yarber, the center's senior director, around 8% of Americans diagnosed with HIV live in rural areas, up from 5% a decade ago. Most HIV prevention materials are targeted toward urban residents, he says, and HIV-positive people in rural areas need information specifically tailored to their communities. "The rural communities have a uniqueness," he notes. "They don't have adequate health care, they don't have adequate support." "I think [the CDC grant] illustrates that they recognize how important efforts to reduce AIDS in rural communities are," says Yarber. (AP)

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