I am a proud, gay son of immigrant farmworkers from Mexico and am representing my hometown of Atwater, California – a small town in the rural-agrarian communities of the San Joaquin Valley. Growing up, I experienced the consequences of living in an underserved region and a disadvantaged household. These experiences ignited my passion to understand how inequity has come to pervade vulnerable populations and, most importantly, how to alleviate it. As the first in my family to attend college, earning a degree in public health from UC Berkeley in 2019 has allowed me to better understand the interplay of the social determinants of health and their relation to health and disease outcomes. This education, paired with my own lived experiences, influence my commitment to addressing health disparities in our nation and around the globe. I am thrilled to continue my pursuit of higher education as I will be starting medical school in the fall of 2023! As a key stakeholder in the area of HIV/AIDS, I am passionate about leveraging my influence as an advocate, leader and future physician to create change. It is thanks to support systems like ViiV Healthcare, the National Minority AIDS Council and the Youth Initiate Program, that I feel empowered to continue my trajectory towards making my impact.
Isaac E. Avila-Vargas (He/Él/They)