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Juan J. Delacruz Presents: Quality of Life Issues Among Older Adults with HIV in NYC
September 13 | 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Juan J. DelaCruz Presents: “Psychosocial Determinants and Quality of Life Issues among Older Adults with HIV in New York City: Towards More Cost-Effective Interventions”
The goal of this study is to estimate the cost-effectiveness of competing health strategies using quality of life metrics (proxy for effectiveness) and economic cost of interventions (proxy for costs) associated with psychosocial factors influencing health outcomes of older adults (individuals who are 50 years and older) with HIV in New York City (NYC). The comparison between relative costs and health outcomes (cost-effectiveness analysis) of treatment for HIV-infected older individuals has been poorly explained in the current literature. Many of these treatments focus on antiretroviral therapy (ART) and ART adherence, with little emphasis on vulnerable populations, who are disproportionately affected by HIV morbidity and mortality. Given the increased efficacy of ART (with the concomitant shift of HIV infection from a terminal to chronic condition), cost-effectiveness of treatment is influenced increasingly by aspects of quality of life (e.g. ability/disability statuses, employment, etc.) rather than driven primarily by duration of survivor-ship (improvement in bio-markers such as viral load and CD-4 T-cell counts only). These treatments and their cost-effectiveness considerations are paramount among older adults (individuals who are 50 years and older) due to the “graying” of the HIV epidemic. Older adults have increased risk of HIV transmission, which compromises quality of life in the long run. Due to the presence of income inequalities, differential in exposure to disease, and challenges to receiving physical and mental health services, older adults with HIV disproportionately face negative health outcomes.
Dr. Juan J. DelaCruz has a PhD in Economics from the New School University and a MS in Biostatistics from Columbia University. He is an Associate Professor of Economics and Business at Lehman College (Bronx, NY) as well as Associated Faculty of the CUNY School of Public Health and Health Policy (Harlem, NY). He has actively participated in several professional development opportunities across the United States. Dr. DelaCruz is an immigrant from Mexico. He is a health economist by training who specializes in the analysis of economic and social determinants of health, in particular factors influencing the HIV epidemic. His academic work sustains that HIV-infected longtime survivors are facing disproportionate health outcomes, including disability and early death. The core of his work is to elucidate how different sciences can be complements in the research process. He believes that economics, public health and public policy are key instruments to advocate for vulnerable populations.