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Social Determinants of Health

Rural HIV/AIDS programs must consider the needs of the whole person. Social determinants of health are factors that can impact a person's health, functioning, risks, and quality of life. Examples of social determinants of health include:

  • Access to healthcare services
  • Access to educational and economic opportunities
  • Availability of affordable housing and food
  • Public safety
  • Community and social support
  • Culture and social norms

Many rural HIV/AIDS programs provide other resources and support services that can help people living with HIV/AIDS, including:

  • Access to nutrition services, case management, and referrals for substance use treatment and specialty care
  • Social events and dinners for people living with HIV/AIDS and their guests
  • Tutoring and educational programs, mentoring, and support groups
  • Access to household supplies and personal items
  • Financial assistance with bills
  • Transportation assistance
  • Support in finding housing

For more information about social determinants of health and strategies for addressing different factors in rural communities, see the Social Determinants of Health in Rural Communities Toolkit and Social Determinants of Health for Rural People topic guide.

Resources to Learn More

Addressing Social Determinants of Health in the Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Infections, and Tuberculosis
Discusses several approaches identified in the literature addressing social determinants of health related to the epidemics of HIV, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections, and tuberculosis. Analyzes a range of influencing factors, and describes how specific populations may be more significantly impacted.
Author(s): Dean, H.D., & Fenton, K.A.
Citation: Public Health Reports, 125(Suppl 4), 1-5
Organization(s): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Date: 2010

NCHHSTP Social Determinants of Health
Compiles resources concerning the social determinants of health with a focus on the prevention of HIV, viral hepatitis, sexually transmittable diseases (STDs), and tuberculosis in the U.S.
Organization(s): National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention

Addressing Social Determinants of Health in Rural Communities
Features resources on social determinants of health (SDH) in rural communities and identifies lessons learned from rural local health departments working to address SDH. Offers training, reports, slides, toolkits, and guides supporting public health communication efforts, practice and leadership skills, policy development, and program planning.
Organization(s): National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)