This spotlight features Dr. Charles Livingston Jr, an HIV Specialty Pharmacist working in the community to help individuals live with and manage HIV. Read below to find out how he became an HIV Specialty Pharmacist, and why Black Health matters to him.
Charles is a Clinical Pharmacist specializing in HIV Care in the Atlanta, Georgia metropolitan area. Originally from Maryland, Charles graduated from Hampton University - THE Standard of Excellence - in 2013 and began working in retail pharmacy for a major retail chain. He has since transitioned into a hybrid clinical and dispensing position focused on HIV care for a non-profit organization.
Charles’ interest in the field of Pharmacy began with his grandmother, who was a practicing pharmacist for 60+ years. Fun fact! Charles’ grandmother was the longest continually practicing pharmacist in the country before she passed away - how dope is that?? When Charles entered the world of retail pharmacy after graduation, he knew that it was not a good fit for him and began researching different ways to remain a practicing pharmacist, without working in a retail setting. During his search he came across the HIV care specialty and did what he had to do to get the required certifications and shortly after his current position as a clinical pharmacist in HIV care fell into his lap - won’t He do it?
As a Pharmacist specializing in HIV care, Charles plays a vital role in a patient’s care. Studies have found the involvement of pharmacists in a patient’s HIV care is associated with increased medication adherence (which is EXTREMELY important) and has a positive impact on viral suppression. Looking ahead, Charles wants to completely leave his days of dispensing behind him. He aspires to become 100% clinical in his work - counsel patients, read and review medical charts, as well as make clinical decisions and recommendations for his patients.
As for his personal goals, Charles is working to change his bad habits NOW! He realized that he was developing habits that would put him at risk for diseases that plague the Black community - hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol. In an effort to avoid taking as many medications as he can when he gets older, he has switched up his eating habits and begun a regular workout regimen.
BLKHLTH asked Charles, “Why does black health matter to you?”
“First and foremost because I’m Black, second, I’m a healthcare provider. It is important to me that MY community at large is healthy - family, friends, friends of friends - physically, mentally, spiritually; overall just holistically healthy. We are already disadvantaged simply for being Black - I want us to live healthy lives regardless of that.”
If you want to keep up with Charles, follow him on Instagram! @CLivingstonRX