Why Equity ≠ Equality

Equity is one of six guiding principles for the Achieving Together plan and movement, reminding us to: 

  • Focus on strategies that will create access to resources and services for all people, eliminate inequities, and increase people’s capacity to make decisions that affect themselves, their families, and their communities.
  • Focus especially on those communities that face the biggest barriers affecting their access and ability to focus on HIV prevention, treatment, and care services.

But what, exactly, is equity? And why is it different from equality?

In this video, Chris Allen, Health Equity Coordinator for the Texas Department of State Health Service HIV/STD Branch, provides an overview of what health equity means, especially in the context of HIV prevention, care, and treatment.

Equity is about putting in enough resources where everyone has the same outcomes and the same opportunities to achieve those outcomes.

Equity is a feature of systems, not people. Health inequities are built into our systems and the environments.

As you watch the video, reflect on the systems and environments in which you live and work:

Where do you see examples of equity across populations?

And where can you increase the height of the platform to give more people the opportunity to thrive?

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