Forced Boundaries: How the Public Charge Rule Impacts Latinx People At Risk For and Living with HIV

June 14, 2019

Check out this new publication by our colleague Sandra Cuevas at the LA AETC!

APHA 2019: Annual Meeting and Expo

Abstract
As of 2015, Latinx people made up 35.8% of people living with HIV (PLWH) in California, only second to the 40% of PLWH identifying as white. More recently, state data revealed that Latinx men who have sex with men (MSM) are not seeing an overall reduction in the number of HIV transmissions to the same degree as white MSM. California is also home to more than an estimated 2 million undocumented immigrants, about one-quarter of all undocumented people living in the U.S. Since 2017, healthcare and social service providers serving Latinx PLWH have expressed particular concern with efforts by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to overhaul administrative rules, seeking to further scrutinize immigrants’ use of publicly funded services and programs. Despite the fact that California offers comprehensive HIV care and medication as well as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) services regardless of a person’s legal immigrant status, many (im)migrants have been forced to weigh the utility of accessing care against the possible immigration consequences associated with doing so. Academic partners, legal practitioners and providers partnered to create a resource to educate communities regarding the current rule on public charge. Through partnering with both healthcare and social service providers, the team disseminated the tool and garnered feedback regarding the general understanding of this rule among Latinx communities. Results include insight into future messaging to Latinx communities around continuous engagement in HIV prevention and treatment services and actions that could help further educate and inform Latinx communities regarding the public charge rule.
Authors
Learning Areas

Chronic disease management and prevention Provision of health care to the public Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives

Describe how federal immigration policy, specifically the public charge rule, stands to impact Latinx people living with and at risk for HIV. Identify how efforts to end the HIV epidemic through providing broad access to HIV prevention and treatment services is further undermined by current federal immigration policy. Formulate a community-based education plan to address gaps in knowledge regarding the public charge rule as it relates to HIV prevention and treatment services for Latinx communities.

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