Recognizing the HIV Response in Rural Communities on National Rural Health Day

Content From: Harold J. Phillips, MRP, Senior HIV Advisor and Chief Operating Officer for Ending the HIV Epidemic, Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesPublished: November 22, 20192 min read


Logo - National Rural Health Day - Celebrating the Power of Rural! November 21, 2019.

Yesterday was National Rural Health DayExit Disclaimer, and we want to recognize the work that our partners in rural communities do to respond to the health needs of their neighbors—particularly their responses to HIV. Rural communities often face unique challenges related to HIV prevention and care services and must develop innovative solutions to address them.

The Phase 1 jurisdictions engaged in the Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America (EHE) initiative include seven states with a disproportionate occurrence of HIV in rural areas: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. Each of these states received funding to develop an EHE plan in collaboration with community members.

The federal agencies implementing EHE are working with state and local health departments, healthcare and HIV-service providers, people at risk for and people living with HIV, and other health and social services providers to ensure that rural residents benefit from the initiative’s goal to cut new HIV transmissions by 75% in five years and 90% by 2030.

As we mark National Rural Health Day, we recognize the contributions rural communities are making in the national response to HIV, and we encourage people in rural areas to get involved in the EHE community-planning process. Together, we will end the HIV epidemic in the United States—community by community.

Read a related blog post about the Delta States Rural Development Network Grant Program.