Liz Salomon on the State of HIV in America
The public perception and treatment for the HIV virus has come a long way since the 1980s. Even with greater knowledge of the epidemic, a stigma surrounding it remains. As research and treatment of the virus continues, a major challenge facing public health is the disproportionate impact of HIV on LGBTQ adults and racial minorities.
The statistics are striking. There are 1.1 million people in the United States who are HIV positive, and of that number, 14% are unaware they’re infected. What’s more, the HIV virus disproportionately affects minority populations: an estimated 468,800 of the more than 1.1 million people living with HIV in the U.S. are black, while HIV ranks higher as a cause of death for Blacks and Latinos when compared with whites. Overall, these ethnically diverse populations are 49 times more likely to contract HIV compared to the general population.
It’s clear there’s so much more to be done to address the inequities and stigma surrounding HIV than simply prescribing antiretrovirals. And in a city like Boston, overcoming these obstacles often requires a tireless advocate for social justice and health equity.
Liz Salomon joins this episode of Relational Rounds for a discussion on the state of HIV in America, and to share how she’s led several initiatives in Boston to address the disproportionate impact of HIV on LGBTQ adults and youth of color. After a very personal connection to HIV displayed the true inequities linked to the disease, Liz dedicated her career to help educate and provide better access to treatment for these populations. She brought her two decades of public health experience to PCP, where she’s helped spearhead the design and dissemination of interprofessional practitioner education programs.
This month, Liz has returned to the public health field to serve as Program Director for Data and Operations at the Center for Pediatric HIV AIDS Cohort Study at the Harvard School of Public Health. Listen to this episode to gain insight on the inequities surrounding HIV care in America and in Boston, and hear the PCP team bid farewell to our extraordinary Director of Programs.