Populations at risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) include those living in rural areas. The authors describe a statewide training program that targeted rural-based health professionals. This program focused on HIV, STIs, and viral hepatitis and was designed to (a) enhance participants' ability to conduct sexual histories and risk assessments, (b) educate clients about risk reduction and prevention, (c) screen for and diagnose these infections, (d) clinically manage clients with positive screening test results, (e) access prevention and other educational materials, and (f) conduct other clinical and public health activities. A total of 122 participants reflecting a wide variety of practice settings attended trainings at five sites throughout Minnesota; 74% of participants were nurses and 81% characterized employment settings as rural. Nurses and other health professionals in rural settings are an important training priority and can play an important role in education, prevention, screening, and clinical care for HIV and other STIs.
- health education
- rural population
- sexually transmitted infections
- viral hepatitis