About Us

Today's rural communities, despite their stereotypical "safe" image, are not immune from many of the problems of urban areas, such as unprotected sexual behavior, drug and alcohol abuse, and diseases such as human immunodeficiency infection, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and other sexually transmitted diseases. The spread of HIV and other STDs to rural areas of the United States is an important threat to public health. Multiple factors, such as stigma, denial and isolation, contribute to the challenge of HIV/STD prevention in rural communities.

Mission of the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention

Founded in 1994, the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention (RCAP) promotes HIV/STD prevention in rural America to reduce HIV/STD prevalence. RCAP is headquartered at Indiana University in the Department of Applied Health Science, School of Public Health – Bloomington. RCAP:

  • provide current prevention resources to professionals and the public
  • develops and evalutes educational materials and approaches to rural HIV/STD prevention
  • shares strategies that might work to overcome behavioral and social barriers related to rural HIV/STD prevention

The Directors of the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention (RCAP)

The directors have extensive background in HIV/STD curriculum development and evaluation, prevention programming, basic and applied research, public service and patient care. Research assistants and graduate students from each university also participate in RCAP projects.

Senior Director

William L. Yarber, H.S.D., Indiana University
Dr. Yarber is Provost Professor in the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, senior scientist at the Kinsey Institute, and the senior director of the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention at Indiana University, Bloomington. He has authored numerous scientific reports on sexual risk behavior and AIDS/STD prevention in professional journals and has received federal grants from then national Institutes of Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He is a member of The Kinsey Institute and RCAP collaboration, The Kinsey Institute Condom Use Research Team comprised of researchers from Indiana University, University of Kentucky, University of Guelph (Canada), and the University of Southampton (United Kingdom). He authored four school AIDS/STD prevention education curricula (student book and instructor guide) including the country's first secondary school AIDS prevention education curriculum, AIDS: What Young People Should Know (1989, 1987). He has been a consultant to the World Health Organization Global Program on AIDS as well as sexuality and HIV/STI-related organizations in Brazil, China, Jamaica, Poland, Portugal, and Taiwan.

Co-Directors

Janet N. Arno, M.D., Indiana University
Dr. Arno is medical director of the Bell Flower Clinic of the Marion County Health Department (Indianapolis, IN) and clinical associate professor in the division of infectious diseases at the Indiana University Medical School, Indianapolis. She specializes in infectious diseases with a research focus on STD immunology. As a physician she has cared for AIDS patients since 1982. She has numerous AIDS/STD publications and extramural support awards. Dr. Arno was a member of the Cleveland AIDS Task Force where she worked with teachers in AIDS education program development.

Richard A. Crosby, Ph.D., University of Kentucky, Lexington
Richard A. Crosby, Ph.D., is he DDI Endowed Professor and Chair of health behavior in the College of Public Health at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Dr. Crosby has published extensively in the area of HIV/STD risk behavior, including studies of rural populations. He has developed and tested a condom use promotion program (known as Focus on the Future) which is now classified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an evidence-based intervention. He has edited and authored multiple college textbooks on health behavior theory and research methods. He is also a recipient of research awards from the National Institutes of Health to study condom effectiveness against non-viral sexually transmitted infections and to test a brief, clinic-based, HIV prevention designed for young African American males. He is also funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate barriers to HPV vaccination and develop social marketing programs to promote vaccine uptake.

Susan L. Dreisbach, Ph.D., University of Colorado, Denver (Emeritus)
Dr. Dreisbach is assistant professor in health and behavioral science at the University of Colorado, Denver. Her research has focused on HIV/AIDS risk behaviors and the context in which they occur among methamphetamine users in rural communities and among adolescents in various settings. As a Social Science Research Council Sexuality Fellow, Dr. Dreisbach is investigating how multiple cultures simultaneously influence sexual behaviors and HIV/AIDS risk among Latino/a adolescents.

Beth Meyerson, MDiv, PhD, Indiana University
Dr. Beth Meyerson is an associate professor of health policy & management in the Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington. She is also affiliated with the Kinsey Institute and IU Medical School's Center for HPV Research. Dr. Meyerson has been involved with public health policy and systems for the past 20 years. Her systems research includes the identification of need and opportunities for system expansion to increase access to sexual health services. This has included the study of alternative screening venues for cervical cancer (STD clinics) and HIV testing (pharmacy practice expansion and community health centers); as well as the study of harm reduction practices in pharmacies (PrEP, naloxone, syringes) and syringe exchange policy adoption and implementation. Dr. Meyerson's policy research focuses on policy behaviors (STD programs, local health departments), policy adoption (accreditation, syringe exchange), and policy implementation. Beth has worked throughout the United States, in sub-Saharan Africa, in India and the Caribbean.

Mohammad R. Torabi, Ph.D., M.P.H., Indiana University
Dr. Torabi is Chancellors' Professor of Health Education in the School of Public Health at Indiana University, Bloomington. His research focus has been in measurement and evaluation of school and public health education programs and factors related to individuals' decisions in the prevention of HIV/AIDS infection, drug abuse, cancer, and tobacco.

Special Assistant to the Senior Director

Jeanne White Ginder, mother of Ryan White, was been appointed on April 8, 2010 by the RCAP directors as a Special Advisor to the Senior Director. Jeanne will assist RCAP in specific projects, particularly those dealing with HIV/STD education for youth. Since Ryan's death in 1990, Jeanne has been a spokesperson for AIDS education and the rights of people with AIDS. She travels the country and the world speaking to groups and has worked with Congress for the creation and continuation of the "Ryan White Care Act."

RCAP is supported, in part, through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.