Advice from a reporter experienced in interviewing people in stigmatized populations

Emily Willingham

About Emily Willingham

Emily Willingham (@ejwillingham) is AHCJ's core topic leader on the social determinants of health. She is a science journalist whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, and Forbes, among others, and co-author of "The Informed Parent: A Science-Based Guide to Your Child's First Four Years."

Heather Boerner’s October 2018 piece at NPR examined the fate of people who live without treatment for their HIV after they leave prison. The piece was pinned to a study published in PLOS One showing that people with HIV often are lost to care once they leave the monitoring and services provided in prison.

In her article, in addition to providing an in-depth perspective from several experts, Boerner also gave the reader the story of Bryan C. Jones, who had left a prison in Ohio and almost immediately ditched his HIV drugs because he knew they were no longer working.

Heather Boerner

In response to some questions from AHCJ, Boerner discusses how she identified Jones and was able to include his story in her piece.

As journalists covering health know, finding someone living with the condition a story covers can be difficult. The additional factors of a background involving incarceration and a period of housing instability can complicate the process even more.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.