Cecilia Dennis is an advocate for modernization/repeal of HIV criminalization laws, bodily autonomy and social determinants of equity, including equal access to health insurance and models of care that provide comprehensive health care to people living with HIV. Read Bio
AcademyHealth and the Weitzman Institute co-hosted a national webinar to announce the rollout of a 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 featured Weitzman’s Understanding Barriers to Oral Care for People Living with HIV/AIDS Taskforce members' contributions to better understand the barriers PLWHA faced when accessing oral health services.
The 60-minute webinar featured contributions from two Taskforce members and a prominent HIV/AIDS researcher as they provided valuable context and nuance to help understand why PLWHA continued to experience unmet oral care needs. This included discussing the challenges, both historical and current, contributing to the unaddressed oral health needs, and identifying recommendations that empower patients and their advocates to shape policies and reduce oral health disparities. Topics included:
- Overcoming and addressing barriers to care.
- The current state of evidence in the field.
- The importance of engaging PLWHA as subject-matter experts.
By the conclusion of this webinar, attendees:
- Understood the barriers to oral healthcare from the perspectives of those living with HIV/AIDS.
- Learned about the importance of addressing social determinants of health and social needs among those living with HIV/AIDS, as noted in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the U.S.
- Explored ways to become an advocate for change to address unmet need for dental care for people living with HIV/AIDS.