AETC Program Mission and History

Learn about the AETC network's 35 years of supporting the HIV care community.

Who We Are

The AIDS Education and Training Centers (AETCs) are a national network of leading HIV experts who provide locally based, tailored education, clinical consultation, and technical assistance to healthcare professionals and healthcare organizations to integrate state-of-the-science comprehensive care for people with or affected by HIV. The network is comprised of 2 national centers, 8 regional centers, more than 85 regional-partner (local) sites, the online National HIV Curriculum, and 2 Integration of the National HIV Curriculum into Health Professions Training programs. The AETC Program is funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB), of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under Part F of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP).

What We Do

The AETC Program transforms HIV care by providing healthcare teams with education and capacity-building support. Healthcare professionals trained by the AETCs develop the confidence and competency to address HIV-related issues and are more willing than other primary care providers to treat persons with HIV.

The AETC Program supports the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and the End the HIV Epidemic in the United States initiative by increasing the number of healthcare teams educated and motivated to care for individuals with HIV, and increasing access to care, thereby reducing HIV-related health disparities. The mission of the AETC Program is to improve the quality of life of persons with or at risk of HIV throughout the U.S., the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the six U.S.-affiliated Pacific Jurisdictions.

How We Help

Training

AETC Program training is targeted to providers who serve marginalized and resource-poor populations of high HIV prevalence, including homeless, incarcerated, adolescent/young adult, transgender, gay/bisexual men, substance-using, and immigrant/migrant persons residing in the U.S. The AETCs focus on training diverse groups of clinicians, including physicians, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, nurses, oral health professionals, and pharmacists, as well as other multidisciplinary HIV care team members working in RWHAP and STD clinics, federally funded health centers, hospitals, community-based organizations, health departments, mental health and addiction treatment facilities, and other healthcare facilities.

Training activities are offered in-person, online and via distanced-based platforms, and are based upon assessed local needs.

An interactive training approach is emphasized to assist providers with complex issues related to the management of HIV care and treatment. AETCs collaborate with RWHAP grantees, health centers, community-based HIV/AIDS organizations, health professional schools and residency programs, and medical and health professional organizations.

The AETC Program trains an average of 83,000 clinical staff annually.

Consultation, Capacity Building, and Technical Assistance

  • Regional, local, and national AETC programs provide case-based and organizational education, training, consulting, and technical assistance.
  • Regional centers and their partnering (local) sites work directly within the community through targeted training and by linking providers with local experts.
  • National centers and programs provide resources, assistance, consultation, and training to support healthcare professionals and faculty in the AETC network and beyond.
    • The National Clinician Consultation Center (NCCC) operates a Warmline for individual clinician case consultations, a PEPline for consultations on post-exposure prophylaxis, a PrEPline for consultations on pre-exposure prophylaxis, a Perinatal Hotline for questions about the care of HIV-infected pregnant women as well as indications and interpretations of HIV tests, a Hepatitis C Management line for consultations on hepatitis C mono-infection management, and a Substance Use Management line for advice on substance use management for providers.
    • The AETC National Coordinating Resource Center (NCRC) offers a virtual library of online training resources for adaptation by HIV care providers and other healthcare professionals to meet local training needs, coordinates an annual in-person conference for Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program prescribing clinicians, and provides technical assistance, marketing services, and capacity-building support for the AETC network and allied healthcare professionals.
    • The National HIV Curriculum (NHC), developed and managed by the University of Washington Infectious Diseases Education & Assessment (IDEA) Program, provides free, up-to-date content for clinicians to learn about HIV diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. The NHC's 37 lessons and corresponding question bank topics offer free CME, MOC, CNE, pharmacology CE, and CE, an in-depth antiretroviral medications section, HIV symptom evaluation guides, mini-lectures, and clinical screening tools and calculators to support clinical decision-making.
    • The Integrating the National HIV Curriculum e-Learning Platform into Health Care Professions programs focus on integrating the NHC into the education and training curricula of multiple health profession institutions with an emphasis on medical, nursing, and pharmacy programs, including graduate education/residency programs. This initiative aims to enhance the quality of HIV education and training at multiple health-profession institutions, thereby increasing the number of healthcare professionals who can competently care for people with HIV. The NHC is an excellent tool to help provide quality, up-to-date training, which is vital for addressing the HIV educational needs of health professional trainees.