Creating partnerships and building relationships with community-based organizations is critical to the success
of rural HIV/AIDS programs.
Some rural health departments work with community-based organizations to implement HIV/AIDS prevention and
treatment services in the community because they know the population well. Rural HIV/AIDS programs may have a
case manager, social workers, or patient navigator on the team who maintains relationships with all of the
organizations in the community so it is possible to refer people to other organizations for support services.
Rural HIV/AIDS programs in health departments and community organizations also need strong relationships with
substance use disorder and mental health providers, as HIV
and substance abuse have been closely connected — and people with substance use disorders also
sometimes experience a mental health issue.
Resources to Learn More
Building Partnerships and Stakeholder
Relationships for HIV Prevention: Longitudinal Cohort Study Focuses on Community Engagement
Demonstrates how engagement activities helped establish community partnerships to decrease research mistrust and
increase the participation and retention of women impacted by HIV in a multisite HIV incidence study, HIV
Prevention Trials Network. Women selected for the study were from 10 geographic areas described as having the
highest prevalence of HIV and poverty and as vulnerable to HIV infection due to several factors including
substance use, incarceration, and sexually transmitted disease.
Author(s): DeShields, R. D., Lucas, J.P., Turner, M., et al.
Citation: Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action, 14(1), 29-42