The HRSA-funded AIDS Education and Training Centers (AETCs) applaud the work of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in partnership with the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP), HHS Office of HIV/AIDS Policy (OHAP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Office on Women’s Health (OWH), Office of Minority Health (OMH), Indian Health Service (IHS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for convening the forum on PLWH and the implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS).
The recent consultations with people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH) provided an important collaboration that highlighted some of the challenges and opportunities in HIV care in the United States. Among the challenges identified which impede access to HIV care, stigma and discrimination among healthcare providers and the need for appropriately trained specialists outside of HIV/AIDS care to address the multitude of comorbidities is a reality the AIDS Education and Training Centers (AETCs) are well-prepared to address. The AETCs are uniquely positioned with an established network that brings the faculty and expertise of our leading HIV care providers from academic medical centers across the country to community-based providers serving those of highest need to address stigma and discrimination in HIV care settings and improve health outcomes for PLWH. The AETCs will continue to bolster training, technical assistance, clinical consultation, and capacity building efforts to improve the capacity of community clinics and clinicians to provide timely, high quality, culturally-responsive HIV care. The AETCs will also ensure that clinical education programs target clinicians most in need, especially those who work in communities of color and community health centers in medically underserved areas.
The AETCs are funded by HRSA to train health care professionals about all aspects of HIV care. Through HRSA’s leadership, the AETCs are provided with an opportunity to provide continuing education and clinical consultation to the existing HIV workforce, to expand the current HIV workforce by developing HIV knowledge and clinical skills of providers in communities of need, and to ensure that health care providers in fields other than HIV are prepared to diagnose and treat HIV-related co-morbidities. The AETCs draw upon 20 years of experience and proven success in building unique HIV care partnerships with academic medical centers, state and local health departments, and community providers to address barriers in accessing HIV care, from capacity building efforts to offer all HIV care services under one roof, to being responsive to the ever-evolving science of HIV care through training and technical assistance, to addressing stigma and discrimination through capacity building and education programming.
The AETC program continues to support the NHAS goals and embraces its successful implementation. We have highlighted some of our NHAS implementation efforts in the table below. We especially thank ONAP, OHAP, HSS and HRSA for their leadership and their continued support of AETC programs in recognition of the AETC’s many contributions to the care of PLWH in the United States.
Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center
Mountain Plains AETC
New York/New Jersey AETC
New England AETC
Southeast AIDS Training and Education Center
AETC National Clinicians’ Consultation Center
AETC National Evaluation Center
AETC National Resource Center
|National HIV/AIDS Strategy Goals||AIDS Education and Training Centers (AETCs) Initiatives|
|Reducing New HIV Infections||AETCs educate care providers on the importance of primary and secondary prevention, including in-depth Prevention with Positives programs, which provide a comprehensive approach to preventing new HIV infections. AETCs provide HIV testing capacity building assistance and training; many AETCs have helped develop new HIV testing programs in community clinics and non-traditional care settings.|
|Increasing Access to Care and Improving Health Outcomes for PLWH||AETC programming focuses on early intervention and provides technical assistance, clinical consultation, and training on engaging and retaining PLWH in care, assuring treatment adherence, and promoting primary care for PLWH. AETCs provide training and education materials to increase clinicians’ comfort, skills, and confidence in their abilities to provide HIV care. AETCs develop and facilitate clinician communities of practice to assure quality clinical consultation and care resources for providers practicing in medically underserved communities, often using telehealth technology to reach providers in outlying areas. AETCs provide mentorship programs, faculty development, and clinical training programs for healthcare providers. AETCs have provided leadership in national, regional, and local arenas to enhance the number of clinicians in the healthcare workforce who are prepared to provide comprehensive and high-quality care for PLWH.|
|Reducing HIV-Related Health Disparities||AETCs target training and capacity building efforts to clinicians who care for communities of color and work in community health centers and IHS health centers, enabling PLWH easier access to quality HIV care within their own communities.|
|Reducing duplication of efforts||The AETC Network has developed extensive expertise in building relationships and community networks through more than two decades of providing HIV education to healthcare providers. This depth ensures consistent communication and reduces duplication of efforts within the HIV education, care, and services community.|