World AIDS Day 2012: Destigmatizing AIDS in Appalachia

By Cyndy McGrath and Tim Betler

The treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS have come a long way in the 30 years since researchers first put a name to the obscure virus that left those infected with few options and virtually no hope for survival.

In the United States today, patients may have access to highly-effective drug regimens, coupled with ongoing prevention programs; however some challenges remain.  Healthcare professionals still face a difficult time getting sophisticated programs and treatments to underserved populations in rural areas.

The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of PublicHealth (GSPH), Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology is administering the Telehealth Appalachian AIDS Education and Training Center Project (TAAP).  TAAP provides web-based HIV education, training, clinical guidelines and resources to Appalachian community health centers.

The project is led by Linda Rose Frank, Ph.D., M.S.N., an associate professor of public health, medicine and nursing at the school, who has worked to increase knowledge and awareness about HIV disease in underserved communities in the hope of preventing discrimination and delivering more care to those who need it. 

For more information, visit GSPH.