Equity Matters: SDOH Are Now Available on AHEAD

Content From: Oskian Kouzouian, Deputy Director HIV.gov and Project Lead, AHEAD Dashboard, Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesPublished: October 12, 20212 min read


Social Determinants of Health Data on AHEAD

HHS recently added social determinants of health (SDOH) to America’s Epidemic Analysis Dashboard (AHEAD). The addition of these data assists Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) stakeholders as they develop more comprehensive and data-driven plans of action to serve and meet the diverse needs of their jurisdictions.

Data on SDOH help provide context to understand the drivers of health inequities and disparities. Incorporating SDOH data into EHE planning and implementation allows community prevention planners to identify and address factors that may be significantly contributing to HIV morbidity and mortality in their communities. For example, being un- or underinsured puts already vulnerable populations at further risk for poor HIV-related health outcomes. If a jurisdiction has a high level of uninsured persons, one element of their EHE plans might involve working with stakeholders to enroll more people in health insurance or to address policy barriers to increasing access to healthcare.

AHEAD displays seven SDOH:

  • HIV stigma among persons living with HIV
  • Homelessness among persons living with HIV
  • Poverty
  • Gini coefficient of income inequality
  • Educational attainment
  • Health insurance coverage
  • Unemployment

Stakeholders viewing the SDOH data on AHEAD can use it to:

  • Conduct analyses with HIV-related data to get an in-depth picture of the intersection of SDOH and HIV in communities;
  • Develop new, and enhance existing, programmatic and policy efforts to directly address SDOH relative to ending the HIV epidemic;
  • Assess possible changes to the implementation and delivery of HIV prevention and care and treatment services that would address identified barriers (e.g., transportation challenges); and
  • Use the SDOH data to monitor and better understand current and emerging trends in HIV outcomes.

To learn more about SDOH data on AHEAD, explore AHEAD.hiv.gov/data.