Tania Basta. Photo Credit: Ohio University
Over the last several years, the number of new HIV cases have decreased nationwide. So why are there recent reports of HIV outbreaks in rural America? And why are many Appalachian counties at risk for future HIV outbreaks?
According to Tania Basta, chair of the Department of Social and Public Health at Ohio University, rural areas of the U.S. have historically experienced fewer newly diagnosed cases and people living with HIV/AIDS than their urban counterparts. However, a recent Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report (2016) identified 220 U.S. counties that are most vulnerable for outbreaks of HIV and Hepatitis C (HVC), with over half of the counties located in Appalachia.
Why is this the case? “There are multiple factors, but one is increased use of opiates use in the region,” Basta said.
At her Café Conversation, “An Honest Discussion about HIV: Combating Misconceptions,” at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 28, in Baker Center Front Room, Basta will discuss the factors fueling the HIV/HCV rural epidemics in Appalachia, including the recent outbreaks in Appalachian West Virginia and Kentucky. She also will discuss misconceptions related to HIV/AIDS that still often persist, as well as methods of prevention.
Café Conversations are part of Ohio University’s Café Series, Wednesdays at the Baker Center Front Room. The series provides a venue for students to informally share their interests during a conversational exchange with faculty presenters, staff and the Athens community.
Free coffee is offered to the first 50 attendees, and participants who ask questions can win a free t-shirt.
The series is supported by the Ohio University Research Division.
Learn more! Watch the 1-minute Café Series video: