The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same: HIV/AIDS Myths and Misinformation in the Rural United States


Approaches to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment have made significant advances since the beginning of the epidemic. However, HIV myths and misinformation continue to persist, stymieing efforts to end the epidemic in the United States, particularly in rural areas. The present study’s purpose was to identify prevalent myths and misinformation about HIV/AIDS in the rural United States. Rural HIV/AIDS health care providers (n = 69) were asked via an audience response system (ARS) to provide responses to questions about HIV/AIDS myths and misinformation in their respective communities. Responses were analyzed qualitatively using thematic coding. Responses were grouped into four thematic categories: risk beliefs, consequences of infection, populations affected, and service delivery. Many responses were consistent with myths and misinformation from the start of the HIV epidemic. Study findings support the need for sustained fundamental HIV/AIDS education and stigma reduction efforts in rural areas.


Leadership, Management & Business


Health Promotion Practice

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