Challenges to meeting the HIV care needs of older adults in the rural South

People living with HIV in rural parts of the Southern United States face poor outcomes along the HIV care continuum. Additionally, over half of people with diagnosed HIV are age 50 and older. Older adults living with HIV in the rural South often have complex health and social needs associated with HIV, aging, and the rural environment. Research is needed to understand what support organizations and clinics need in providing care to this population. This qualitative study examines the challenges health and social service providers face in caring for older patients living with HIV. In 2020–2021, we interviewed 27 key informants who work in organizations that provide care to older adults with HIV in the seven states with high rural HIV burden: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. Our findings highlight how racism and poverty; culture, politics, and religion; and a lack of healthcare infrastructure collectively shape access to HIV care for older adults in the South. Rural health and social service providers need structural-level changes to improve their care and services.

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Full citation:
Quinn KG, John SA, Hirshfield S, Algiers O, O'Neil A, Petroll AE, Walsh JL (2022).
Challenges to meeting the HIV care needs of older adults in the rural South
SSM - Qualitative Research in Health, 2, 100113. doi: 10.1016/j.ssmqr.2022.100113.