Linking HIV care to socioeconomics

Many interventions aimed at stemming the spread of AIDS miss the point, says Tom Peterman, M.D., chief of the prevention studies section at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They assume, he said during a talk to Yale AIDS researchers in March, that individuals are in control of themselves and their environment. But in this country the disease is increasingly associated with high rates of poverty, homicide, teen pregnancy, drug abuse and other sexually transmitted diseases. “It is hard to ignore race and racism as a factor in public health in the United States,” he said. “It is a pretty consistent finding that income inequality, more than income, determines health.”