Understanding Barriers to Oral Care for People Living with HIV/AIDS Taskforce

People living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) experience more oral health problems and complications compared to their non-infected counterparts. Research to date suggests that differences in oral healthcare access and utilization persist among PLWHA, with greater unmet oral healthcare needs among PLWHA than the general population. People living with HIV/AIDS are also more susceptible to infections including dental infections, which can affect their overall health.

 

Our Taskforce

The Weitzman Institute convened a representative Taskforce of people living with HIV/AIDS and patient advocates that work closely with PLWHA or are familiar with HIV/AIDS advocacy and community work in order to understand and address the current barriers to receiving oral care. 

The Taskforce, titled “Understanding Barriers to Oral Care for People Living with HIV/AIDS,” also serves to center and uplift the voices and lived experiences of these individuals, adding valuable context and nuance to help understand prior quantitative research.  Our goal through this initiative is to promote greater oral healthcare access and use. Across eight meetings, Taskforce members identified longstanding and present-day structural challenges contributing to unmet oral health needs among PLWHA, as well as opportunities to address social determinants of health, advance structural change to increase oral healthcare access, and reduce utilization gaps.

 

Meet Our Taskforce

  • Omar Alba
  • Aminadab Bahena
  • Mitchell Barys 
  • Caleb Brown
  • Sharon Decuir 
  • Cecilia Dennis
  • Ivette Gonzalez 
  • Richardo Jackson 
  • Michelle Orengo 
  • Stephanie Silver 
  • Gage Urvina 

Our Policy Briefs

Taskforce members were key contributors to a three-part policy brief series, “Barriers and Opportunities for Improving Dental Healthcare Access, Utilization, and Outcomes through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP). The series highlights, (1) the longstanding and present-day challenges contributing to unmet oral health needs among PLWHA; (2) opportunities for addressing social determinants of health and advancing structural change to decrease oral healthcare access and utilization gaps, and; (3) recommendations for amplifying the vital role that patients and patient advocates play in influencing policy and reducing inequities.

Policy Briefs All documents are in PDF format

Addressing Unmet Needs for Dental Care for Patients Living with HIV/AIDS Webinar

Addressing Barriers to Oral Care of People Living with HIV/AIDS Webinar
Recorded Nov. 29, 2023

Watch Recorded Webinar

The Weitzman Institute and AcademyHealth are co-hosting a national webinar to announce the rollout of our three-part policy brief series titled “Barriers and Opportunities for Improving Dental Healthcare Access, Utilization, and Outcomes for People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). This policy brief series features Weitzman’s Understanding Barriers to Oral Care for People Living with HIV/AIDS Taskforce members contributions to better understand the barriers PLWHA face when accessing oral health services.

This 60-minute webinar will feature contributions from two Taskforce members and a prominent HIV/AIDS researcher as they provide valuable context and nuance to help understand why PLWHA continue to experience unmet oral care needs. This includes discussing the challenges, both historical and current, contributing to the unaddressed oral health needs, and identify recommendations that empower patients and their advocates to shape policies and reduce oral health disparities. Panelists, which include a researcher and two Weitzman Institute taskforce members, will provide an overview of the present challenges, both historical and current, contributing to the unaddressed oral health needs, and explore recommendations for empowering patients and advocates to shape policies and reduce health care disparities. 

Topics include:

  • Overcoming and addressing barriers to care
  • The current state of evidence in the field
  • The importance of engaging PLWHA as subject-matter experts
  • Prepare to be inspired and informed as we navigate oral health care for patients living with HIV/AIDS

 

This project has been made possible through a grant from CareQuest Institute of Oral Health