By Karen Blum on 05/26/2017
Amidst the children’s artwork decorating Renata Arrington-Sanders’ office door is a black and white poster from the Baltimore City Health Department featuring a young African-American man sporting tattoos and a fur vest: “Have balls,” it reads. “Get tested.”
The message is salient for Arrington-Sanders, an adolescent medicine and HIV specialist who, during pediatrics training, became interested in working with 15- to 24-year-olds, a time period she views as a “tipping point to either go in the right direction or not.” During an adolescent medicine fellowship at Johns Hopkins, Arrington-Sanders saw a number of HIV-positive youth. “What struck me was the challenges that they had to deal with, particularly around their sexual identity and behavior, and how not being accepted or being marginalized really creates an environment of negativity toward oneself resulting in adverse health outcomes.”
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