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THE COVID-19 DOMINO EFFECT: How the pandemic deepened systemic oppression for Black and Latino IllinoisansJuly 12, 2021
COVID-19 and the resulting instability has left an indelible mark on every corner of our society. The compounding stressors of uncertain futures, health crises, isolation, financial strain, individual and collective trauma, and juggling life responsibilities is taking a massive toll on people. While the virus itself does not discriminate, the systems in place and the responses do: Black and Latino people are bearing the brunt of the negative impacts.The following data and stories illustrate how the pandemic started a domino effect for Black and Latino Illinoisans. When you are already living on the edge, losing one support can cause others to crumble. Just as the ripple effects of the pandemic did not affect us equally, the recovery must not take a one-size-fits-all approach. We must invest in the hardest hit communities—and that means providing a foundation for people of color to heal and thrive.
For individuals experiencing housing insecurity—and other hardships associated with poverty, such as low rates of health literacy, food insecurity, lack of transportation, and restricted access to quality health care—an HIV diagnosis exacerbates an already burdened quality of life. These larger structural barriers may inhibit HIV+ participants from feeling able to change individual-level behaviors which may complicate their HIV status. One counseling intervention that addresses obstacles to change is Motivational Interviewing (MI). MI is a collaborative, client centered approach that fosters communication between a service provider and their recipient with the goal of identifying and resolving the change goals identified during the counseling session. Studies on healthcare outcomes for chronically ill individuals who received MI interventions indicate that, when followed properly, MI can effect long-term, positive behavior changes. This paper defines MI, explores it's applications among HIV+ participants, describes an MI fidelity monitoring tool, and situates MI relevance while acknowledging the influence of social determinants of health.
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