The Policy Café breakfast series brings together clinics, policymakers, community leaders, researchers and other stakeholders for quarterly discussions on the issues impacting Los Angeles County’s health care landscape. From sessions on state issues to debates at the federal level, and discussions on life after health care reform, the series drives dialogue on today’s hot topics. No podium. No PowerPoint. Just frank conversation.
Pandemic Pivot: Regaining Lost Ground on LA’s Invisible Epidemics
Director of Division of HIV
and STD Programs at LADPH
CEO of APLA Health
While the nation has focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, the concurrent epidemics of HIV, hepatitis C (HCV) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have continued to ravage our communities unabated.
In LA County, case rates continue to soar, disproportionately impacting many of the same communities hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic – including people of color, LGBTQ+ populations, people experiencing homelessness, and people with substance use disorders.
With the onset of the pandemic, HIV, HCV and STD testing and treatment rates sharply declined, along with most other patient visits. The effects of these often-invisible public health crises are evident in the most recent public health surveillance data and what providers in the community are seeing on the ground.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the County faced significant challenges that made it difficult to combat spiking HIV, HCV and STD rates, including inadequate public health infrastructure, access gaps, a fragmented local system of care and decades of limited resources. Both the state and federal governments are now investing significant resources in addressing HIV, HCV and STDs. While financial resources are critically needed, the challenge is how to leverage these resources to effectively address the crisis. What are the best short and long-term policy, structural and community engagement interventions? What will it take to build a robust LA County infrastructure to facilitate access to testing, community education and treatment? How do we ensure the response is conducted through a health equity lens?
Join us for a discussion with Mario Perez, Director of Division of HIV and STD Programs at LA County Department of Public Health, and Craig Thompson, CEO of APLA Health, to explore how government agencies, health care providers and community organizations can work together to advance policy and leverage resources to efficiently and effectively marshal a coordinated response to the crisis.
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Date & Time: September 17, 2021 at 9:00 – 10:30 am
Capacity may be limited.
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