Lack of HIV seropositivity among a group of rural probationers: Explanatory factors

Carrie B. Oser, Hope M. Smiley McDonald, Jennifer R. Havens, Carl G. Leukefeld, J. Matthew Webster, Abby L. Cosentino-Boehm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Context: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in rural America has been described as an epidemic, and the HIV prevalence rate among criminal justice populations is higher than the general population. Thus, criminally involved populations in Southern rural areas are at elevated risk for contracting HIV because of drug and sexual practices; however, little is known about HIV/AIDS in the fastest growing criminal justice population - probationers. Purpose: To examine possible explanations for the lack of HIV seropositivity found in a purposive sample of rural probationers. Methods: Data were examined from 800 felony probationers from 30 counties in Kentucky's Appalachian region. Measures included HIV prevalence within the 30 counties, migration patterns, HIV knowledge, substance use, and sexual risk behaviors. Findings: These probationers had a high level of HIV knowledge, reported minimal injection drug use, practiced serial monogamy, and reported minimal engagement in transactional sex. However, these probationers also reported negligible condom use, and injection drug users shared needles and works. Conclusion: Findings suggest the importance of developing programs targeting safe sex practices in rural areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-275
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Rural Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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