Projects & Scholarly Activities

"Much like rural America itself, the road to effective HIV/STD prevention and control may be unpaved and winding. Yet, the moral obligation to develop and smooth this road is clearly evident. The challenges are inherently difficult and the available research and financial support are modest at best. Innovative, collaborative responses and solutions are required to contain and reduce HIV and other STDs in rural locations."

– from the RCAP publication,
Tearing Down Fences: HIV/STD Prevention in Rural America

RCAP Teams with University of Chicago to Expand Access to PrEP

IU's Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention (RCAP) will team with the University of Chicago, the Indiana Minority Health Coalition, and Walgreens Pharmacies to expand access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in community pharmacy settings in the Chicago, Gary, and Indianapolis areas. The fight against HIV is most effective when people have access to PrEP or the use of antiretroviral medications to combat HIV infection among individuals who are HIV-negative. While PrEP access will help turn the tide of the HIV epidemic in the U.S. and elsewhere, not everyone or every community has equal access. Several social and economic factors also remain barriers to PrEP use, particularly for young black men who have sex with men and transgender women.

The research team will develop programs to expand PrEP awareness and access, especially in communities with high rates of HIV and STD infection, but with low resource and high need. Specifically, the team will develop a community pharmacy-based PrEP educational training program, referral system for pharmacists and providers, and PrEP educational kiosk tailored to the needs of pharmacy patients and the pharmacy staff who serve them. The research team is lead by Dr. Brandon Hill, Executive Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health at the University of Chicago and a recent PhD graduate in gender studies at IUB, who received a two-year $468,741 grant from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Beth Meyerson, Associate Professor of Health Policy & Management and RCAP Co-Director at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, conducted preliminary studies with pharmacies in Indiana and found that pharmacies are an unique and interested setting for expansion for HIV prevention. "RCAP is pleased to be part of this research team," said Dr. William Yarber, Senior Director of RCAP, Kinsey Institute Senior Scientist, Affiliate Member at IU's Department of Gender Studies, and Professor of Applied Health Science at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington. "Our intervention development capability, pharmacy research experience, and community research partnerships can potentially advance HIV prevention here and elsewhere." Dr. Yarber, who is a co-investigator for the project, has extensive experience in developing HIV prevention educational programs including, at the federal government's request, the country's school secondary HIV/AIDS prevention curriculum.

Project Cultivate

RCAP's Project Cultivate helps communities build foundations for health collectives in preparation for syringe exchange programming.

Condom Use Research

RCAP co-directors and research fellows have partnered with researchers from the Indiana University Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction (KI) for the past decade to conduct research on male condom use errors and problems. This international team, called The Kinsey Institute Condom Use Research Team (CURT) (pictured left) is comprised of researchers from the United States (W. Yarber, R. Crosby, S. Sanders), Canada (R. Milhausen) and United Kingdom (C. Graham). CURT research has been supported by both RCAP and KI and has resulted in over 25 published research articles and numerous presentations at professional conferences. CURT has utilized quantitative, qualitative and intervention methodologies to study condom use errors and problems during penile-vaginal and penile-anal intercourse among samples of adolescent and adult men and women recruited from STI clinics, college students, rural men from a random telephone survey and local bars, and adults from online surveys. The most recent CURT publications are listed in the below yearly publication list of RCAP publications. CURT will host a public forum to present a summary of its research findings on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2010, at Indiana University Bloomington, titled "Condom use errors and problems: A decade of research by The Kinsey Institute Condom Use Research Team."

HIV/STD Prevention Guidelines

RCAP has developed, in collaboration with other HIV/STD organizations, two guides that provide direction for HIV/ STD prevention in rural communities. Copies of these guides are available by following the links below. Contact RCAP to request printed copies.

  • Tearing Down Fences: HIV/STD Prevention in Rural America
  • HIV/STD Prevention Guidelines for Native American Communities: American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians

RAP* Time

RAP* Time is a monthly bulletin that summarizes current research concerning HIV/STD prevention, particularly in rural settings. Archives of RAP* Time are on the RCAP RAP* Time page. Contact RCAP for a free email subscription.

RCAP Website

The RCAP website highlights current RCAP activities including new publications, materials and
conference announcements. The site hosts a wealth of rural prevention information in addition to Fact Sheets,
and other RCAP materials. The site is continually evolving to provide more interactive resources and links to other valuable HIV and STD prevention resources.

HIV/STD Prevention Research

RCAP conducts research on the behavioral and social factors related to HIV/STD risk behavior that have implications for improved HIV/STD prevention efforts in rural communities. Further, RCAP develops and examines innovative education interventions designed to minimize and eliminate HIV/STD risk behavior. The reports of these studies are published in professional journals, including the RCAP Monograph Articles and presented at professional conferences.