Catastrophic Consequences: The Link Between Rural Opioid Use and HIV/AIDS



This chapter compares the rural–urban prevalence of HIV and opioid use, treatment, and harm reduction, and highlights efforts to control HIV and opioid use in rural states and communities. Rural persons who use opioids appear to have lower perceived risks of contracting HIV and lower perceived consequences associated with heroin use. Close social networks in rural communities and high-risk sex and injection drug use practices may facilitate exposure and transmission of HIV. Rural persons who use opioids may experience numerous potential barriers to HIV and substance abuse treatment and harm reduction activities. Given the challenges of studying a small population of opioid users and dealing with confidential information like HIV status and drug use, studies comparing rural and urban persons within the same state or nationwide will be important going forward.


HIV/AIDS rural opioid use risk factors Harm reduction programs 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Maine Rural Health Research CenterUniversity of Southern MainePortlandUSA
  2. 2.Maine Rural Health Research CenterUniversity of Southern MainePortlandUSA

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