Engaging HIV's Most Vulnerable
Ligia Peralta, M.D., lost a patient in 1987, at the height of the U.S. AIDS epidemic. But this patient wasn't like the HIV-positive people commonly featured in media or protesting in the streets at the time: She was an 18-month girl, the daughter of a family struggling to maintain access to health care.
That experience changed Peralta, who now runs a clinic in Baltimore, Maryland, where she offers an innovative one-stop model of rapid response care for people deeply affected by poverty, job displacement, and HIV. Her leadership, like her professional trajectory, is rooted in collaborating with patients to create a health care system free of judgement, barriers, or gaps. "I'm turning everything around to apply all the knowledge of my career to the community most in need," she says.