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Social determinants of health (SDOH) are the complex, integrated, and overlapping social structures, policies, and economic systems that affect health and quality of life outcomes. SDOH are the conditions in which persons live, work, play, and access care. SDOH can also be a major cause of health inequities, particularly when populations do not have access to the same resources.

Examples of SDOH include, but are not limited to: racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, xenophobia/nationalism, education disparities, income inequality, housing insecurity, transportation access, health systems and services access, social isolation, food insecurity, unemployment, and public safety concerns.

SDOH influence the lives of clients even before an HIV diagnosis is made, and intersect with each stage of the HIV care continuum. SDOH impact access to HIV testing, treatment, and prevention services. Populations with SDOH that negatively impact their ability to access these services are at a disproportionate risk of HIV infection. It is essential that SDOH are addressed in the care provided to clients to decrease health disparities along the HIV care continuum.

The following resources can help to increase health care providers’ awareness of the impact that social determinants of health have on HIV treatment and prevention outcomes.

NOTE: This table contains web links external to PCDC. Resources marked with * were authored by PCDC.

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PCDC Capacity Building Assistance’s (CBA) program materials and activities are supported by Funding Opportunity Announcement PS14-1403, Category C Number 5 NU65PS004403-03-00 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of PCDC and do not necessarily represent the official view of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.