Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies


This case study presents a real, currently operational scenario of harm reduction in action in Costa Rica, focusing on its success and the challenges faced by healthcare professionals, the experiences of those who live at Hogar de la Esperanza, and the implications for healthcare policies and interventions in the United States. By examining this specific case of a Costa Rican community-based HIV treatment model, the aim of this ethnographic report is to shed light on the complexities and factors contributing to the success or failure of harm reduction treatment strategies within the United States and what can be learned by Costa Rica’s unique, primary-care-centric approach to healthcare for all. This ethnography also serves as a comparison and critique of the shortcomings in the United States healthcare system with attention paid to the current literature available. The concomitant literature review is extensive but by no means exhaustive and provides a relevant and thorough perspective on the current state of healthcare in Costa Rica and the United States.


SC 11.PAS.2023.Day.KM