Data Methods

Learn more about the data that informs AHEAD.

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Social Determinants of Health

Social determinants of health are conditions in the places where people are born, live, learn, work, and play that affect health outcomes and overall quality of life. SDOH often drive health inequities, leading to health disparities in and among already vulnerable populations and communities. Social determinants of health are not siloed variables operating independently of each other. Instead, they often converge to impact overall health outcomes. Health disparities can be exacerbated by the unmet socio-economic needs within historically underserved and marginalized populations. Hard-to-reach populations grapple with many complex issues and barriers to care that HIV service providers and other stakeholders must consider to engage with clients, provide services effectively, close the equity gap, and reach EHE goals.

AHEAD displays seven social determinants of health that are closely aligned with EHE indicators, Healthy People 2030 objectives, and the National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan (NHAS) objectives for all EHE priority areas and all U.S. states:

  1. Poverty

  2. Insurance

  3. Education

  4. Employment

  5. Income Inequality

  6. Homelessness

  7. Stigma

Poverty data (percent of civilian labor force, 16 years and over, that is below the poverty level), Gini coefficient of income inequality data (estimated Gini coefficient), and educational attainment data (percent of population 25 and older that graduated high school) are sourced from the U.S. Census, American Community Survey (ACS) 1-year estimates.

Health insurance coverage data (percent of population under 65 that is insured) are sourced from the U.S. Census - Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE), American Community Survey (ACS) 1-year estimates.

Employment data (unemployment rate) are sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate represents the U-3 unemployment rate. These rates are 1-year annual averages.

HIV stigma among persons living with HIV data and homelessness among persons living with HIV data are sourced from CDC’s Medical Monitoring Project and are only available at the national level.