In December 2021, The Massachusetts Health Council released their 10th edition of Common Health for the Commonwealth, a robust report on the public health landscape in Massachusetts. The publication highlights trends and data related to social determinants of health, selected health conditions and injuries, and risk and protective factors. The 10th Edition report also includes a range of commentaries on the impact and implications of COVID-19.
Dozens of Massachusetts’ leading researchers, academics, and practitioners in the health care and public health fields contributed to the comprehensive report, including CHLPI’s faculty director Robert Greenwald as well as senior clinical instructor and lecturer on law Amy Rosenberg.
Robert Greenwald’s article in Common Health for the Commonwealth highlights trends and rates of hepatitis C infections in Massachusetts, noting that increasing rates of hepatitis C infections have coincided with the opioid epidemic. Greenwald celebrates Massachusetts’ important efforts to remove restrictions to life-saving hepatitis C treatment through the state’s Medicaid program and through Massachusetts Department of Corrections. However, he also points out that much more should be done to reduce and eliminate cases of hepatitis C altogether, urging policymakers to establish a comprehensive hepatitis C elimination plan.
Amy Rosenberg’s contribution includes a detailed and data-driven analysis of the state of HIV/AIDS in Massachusetts. While the Commonwealth ranks third nationally in the rate of PrEP usage (pre-exposure prophylaxis, a key treatment to help prevent transmission of HIV), Rosenberg underscores the need for stronger policies in Massachusetts that support PrEP uptake in communities of color, youth, and transgender and cisgender women.