6 Takeaways from the Housing and HIV Summit

As the Advocacy and Policy Associate for Housing Works, I had the opportunity to attend the 8th Annual North American Housing and HIV Research Summit from September 14–16 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C. The summit was sponsored by organizations such as the Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN), the National AIDS Housing Coalition (NAHC), Housing Works, the MAC AIDS Fund, and REACH 2.0, among others.

It was an exciting summit, where individuals from all over the United States and Canada shared research, ideas, and stories related to the social drivers that impact HIV. Plenty of evidence shows that housing is a form of HIV prevention. In fact, during the summit, we watched a video featuring the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Julián Castro, who stressed, “The first step to better health is having a roof over your head.” Having a stable place to live provides comfort, safety, and the opportunity to focus on other important health issues. But now that we know this, what’s next?

Throughout the event, I jotted down notes, trying to grasp the bigger picture and make connections between research, practice, policy, and advocacy. While there are complex layers to the AIDS epidemic, I came up with 6 takeaways and action items that I feel must be addressed in order to accomplish the goal of ending AIDS in the United States.

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