Health-care access for people living with HIV can be daunting. Regional medical providers have recently made efforts to connect directly with these patients, particularly those in the LGBT and black communities, but stigmas associated with HIV still exists. In order to break down those barriers, Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force hired Dr. Sarah McBeth, who will provide health-care services at PATF's office in East Liberty.
Health-care access for those living with HIV has been difficult. Now that the task force has a medical director, do you see access improving?
We are hoping so. A lot of Pittsburgh's HIV epidemic is among people who are hard to reach. If people are accessing the facilities here at PATF, whether they're seeing their case manager or using the food bank, and if we know that person isn't in care, then we want to grab that person and say, "Let's get your numbers checked. Have you talked to the doctor?" ... In addition to having infectious-disease training, I'm trained in internal medicine, so I can function as a primary-care physician for adults. People who may not feel comfortable going elsewhere, we can take care of all their health-care needs here.