Why addressing racism against Black women in health care is key to ending the US HIV epidemic

Nabila El-Bassel, Columbia University

Black American women have disproportionate HIV infection rates – in part because of systemic and structural racism in the health care system.  In late 2020, the American Medical Association declared structural racism a public health threat and emphasized the urgent need to prepare the U.S. health care workforce to redress it.

The Social Intervention Group continues to develop and evaluate solutions to curbing the HIV crisis among Black women. Our research findings suggest that when these women are actively engaged in all stages of their health care services and research, they can improve their health and lives. But this will require that medical professionals also address the health care system’s inherent structural racism.