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IU Study Shows HIV, AIDS Risks Just As High In Rural Areas

Last updated on Tuesday, November 27, 2007

(BLOOMINGTON) - Researchers at Indiana University say that just because you live in a conservative, rural community, that doesn’t mean you’re less at-risk of contracting HIV, AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases.

William Yarber, senior director of the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention at IU Bloomington, says rural living, despite common images and ideals, doesn't protect you from contracting STDs.

When comparing men and women in rural and non-rural areas, a study by Yarber's center shows both groups report near identical numbers of lifetime sexual partners, and frequency of unprotected sex.

What should really raise eyebrows, though, is that rural women are much less likely to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases, making them more likely to pass them along unknowingly. And rural men are significantly less likely to mention anything when they do get tested.

Yarber recommends continuing efforts to educate rural communities about the dangers of STDs, especially deadly HIV and AIDS.

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