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HIV in North Carolina is a serious public health issue. North Carolina has approximately 35,000 people living with HIV, of whom more than 9,000 have been diagnosed with AIDS. The rate of new infections in North Carolina is 40% higher than the national rate and it is estimated that 1 out of 4 newly diagnosed people are diagnosed with AIDS, indicating that people are not seeking testing or care until their illness is more advanced. Risk factors contributing to these rates of HIV/AIDS vulnerability include substance use, sexual risk behaviors, the Social Determinants of Health, among other factors that will be addressed during the presentation. This program will discuss how North Carolinians of color are disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS and the reasons contributing to this disparity. Finally, this presentation will discuss federal and state level policies that further perpetuate vulnerability while highlighting areas in which policy reform and harm reduction practices have helped reduce the risk of HIV/AIDS and associated infections.

Dr. Lisa de Saxe Zerden, MSW, PhD, is currently the Senior Associate Dean for MSW Education at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Social Work. Dr. Zerden received her PhD in Sociology and Social Work from Boston University School of Social Work and her MSW from UCLA. Currently, she serves as the P.I. of a three-year, $1.4 million Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) grant, UNC-PrimeCare, to expand the behavioral health workforce in integrated care. She is also a collaborating faculty member for the HRSA funded Leadership in Public Health Social Work grant for dual MSW/MPH students. Her research interests remain consistently focused on health disparities in drug use and treatment and overdose prevention, HIV/AIDS, and the role of social workers in healthcare. Dr. Zerden has authored over 25 peer-reviewed manuscripts, a half-dozen book chapters, and presented her work at numerous state and national conferences. She has won numerous teaching awards since joining the faculty at UNC Chapel Hill including “most inspirational” “most outstanding” and “most supportive” faculty

 Winston-Salem Clinical Lecture Series, a joint program of UNC School of Social Work and Northwest AHEC of Wake Forest School of Medicine

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