The South Carolina rural–urban HIV continuum of care

Babatunde Edun, Medha Iyer, Helmut Albrecht, Sharon Weissman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The HIV continuum of care model is widely used by various agencies to describe the HIV epidemic in stages from diagnosis through to virologic suppression. It identifies the various points at which persons living with HIV (PLWHIV) within a population fail to reach their next step in HIV care. The rural population in the Southern United States is disproportionally affected by the HIV epidemic. The purpose of this study was to examine these rural–urban disparities using the HIV care continuum model and determine at what stages these differences become apparent. PLWHIV aged 13 years and older in South Carolina (SC) were identified using data from the enhanced HIV/AIDS Reporting System. The percentages of PLWHIV linked to care, retained in care, and virologically suppressed were determined. Rural versus urban residence was determined using the Office of Management and Budget classification. There were 14,523 PLWHIV in SC at the end of 2012; 11,193 (77%) of whom were categorized as urban and 3305 (22%) as rural. There was no difference between urban and rural for those who had received any care: 64% versus 64% (p =.61); retention in care 53% versus 53% (p =.71); and virologic suppression 49% versus 48% (p =.35), respectively. The SC rural–urban HIV cascade represents the first published cascade of care model using rural versus urban residence. Although significant health care disparities exist between rural and urban residents, there were no major differences between rural and urban residents at the various stages of engagement in HIV care using the HIV continuum of care model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)817-822
Number of pages6
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 3 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV
  • South Carolina
  • cascade
  • continuum
  • rural
  • urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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