Regional Training Center

Summary: This project provides capacity building to nonclinical HIV service providers in New York State to help improve service outcomes in all aspects of HIV care, with particular attention to underserved populations.

Opportunity: Although New York has been one of the most successful states in the nation in providing HIV services, there are still a number of challenges that need to be addressed to end the HIV epidemic. Many people with HIV whose infection is undiagnosed are not effectively reached by clinical services. Nonclinical providers (primarily at community-based organizations) can play a central role in improving HIV outcomes—specifically in the areas of linkage and retention to care, community outreach, and the identification of and response to new clusters of HIV infections. CAI’s Regional Training Center (RTC) provides the nonclinical workforce with capacity-building resources that support them in being part of the collective efforts to end the epidemic.

Initiative: CAI’s RTC serves the Mid-Hudson and New York City areas of the state and delivers approximately 50 training programs to 2,000 participants from 25 organizations each year. The RTC is focused on building the capacity of nonclinical providers to promote innovative HIV testing services that engage those who are overlooked by current testing options and work to break down silos between clinical and nonclinical providers. More specifically, the RTC is enabling nonclinical providers to provide targeted community-based outreach for HIV testing; provide HIV testing in an array of community venues; and promote and enable uptake of HIV self-testing. In support of these activities, the RTC helps nonclinical providers train, sustain, and fully integrate the work of peers, client navigators, and retention specialists to help nonclinical providers reconnect with people with HIV who previously initiated services but have since fallen out of care. All RTC activities are geared toward reducing HIV disparities among populations with unmet need, such as trans populations, sex workers, and homeless youth. This program builds on CAI’s decades-long relationship with the New York State Department of Health, including its AIDS Institute.

Impact: The RTC has become a cornerstone of New York State’s HIV response. From 2014-2019, we trained nearly 7,000 participants on topics including cultural competency, health literacy, and HIV screening. CAI has also led special projects that advanced innovative approaches to addressing HIV disparities. The Social Network Strategy to Recruit Minority Patients to NY’s Health Plan Marketplace trained over 325 community members to serve as recruiters who successfully facilitated enrollment of hundreds of people of color with HIV in health insurance. This next phase of the RTC will continue to train the nonclinical HIV workforce to accelerate progress in reducing new infections toward the goal of ending the epidemic.

Project funder and partner: New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute.

Project contact: Catherine Simmons, Project Manager: rtc.contact@caiglobal.org.

RTC Course Descriptions

Safe Sex During COVID-19

This 1-hour webinar outlines the rationale and best practices for talking to clients about how they can protect themselves and minimize their risk of Covid-19 transmission.
As a result of this training, participants will be able to:

  • Recall accurate information about sex and COVID-19
  • Recall best practices for Talking to Clients About COVID-19
  • Promote how to minimize the risks of COVID-19 during sexual activities using our trauma-informed skills.
  • Identify next steps and support.

Target Audience

All health and human service providers.

Role of Non-Clinicians in Promoting PREP

Pre-exposure prophylaxis is an important addition to the HIV prevention toolbox, especially for individuals at highest risk of acquiring HIV. This 2-hour webinar will prepare non-clinical health and human services providers to educate their communities about PrEP, work with clinical providers to expand access to PrEP and provide support to clients who are taking PrEP.

As a result of this training, participants will be able to:

  • Deliver culturally relevant educational messages about PrEP to clients who may benefit from this intervention
  • Discuss the efficacy of PrEP in terms that clients can understand;
  • Refer clients to a host of NYS, NYC, national and local resources regarding PrEP including the PrEP/PEP Voluntary Provider Directory
  • Identify resources to assist clients with reimbursement for PrEP medication, medical appointments, HIV/STD testing and other prevention tools such as condoms, sterile syringes, etc.
  • Integrate messages about PrEP into HIV/STD testing and other prevention services offered by the organization
  • Assist clients on PrEP with behavioral counseling and support daily adherence to the medication

Target Audience

The principal target audience is non-clinical health and human services staff who:

  • Are involved in offering HIV testing, harm reduction counseling, prevention services, community outreach or adherence support
  • Work with individuals at high risk for HIV who have an opportunity to provide education or support regarding PrEP
  • Who work in clinical settings who may have an opportunity to provide education or support around PrEP
  • Peer Workers who work with people at risk with HIV and STDs

Meeting and Working with Clients Remotely

This 90-minute webinar will assist participants in building knowledge and skills to more effectively deliver services to clients remotely.

As a result of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the benefits and challenges of meeting with clients remotely,
  • List at least 2 resources for meeting with clients remotely, and
  • Describe at least 3 key considerations for meeting with clients remotely

Target Audience

Non-medical human service providers, including peers and peer workers, who meet with and/or work with clients remotely.

Health Literacy in HIV, STI, and Viral Hepatitis Care

This 2-hour webinar will provide health and human services providers an overview of health literacy and give participants the opportunity to develop skills utilizing health literacy universal precautions to clearly communicate with patients or clients. At completion of this training, participants will be able to apply two health literacy strategies, plain language and teach back method, into their work.

As a result of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Define health literacy, the health literacy disconnect in healthcare, and how this affects patients and the public;
  • Learn about two health literacy universal precautions, plain language and teach back method, to improve communication and patient understanding;
  • Develop plain language and teach back facilitation skills; and
  • Identify common concerns and challenges associated with incorporating plain language and teach back method with all patients.

Target Audience

This training is for health and human service providers and peer workers.

Hepatitis C Prevention for LGB and TGNC Individuals and Communities

This 2 -hour webinar will review the basic information about hepatitis C that health and human service providers should discuss with program participants who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual (LGB) or Transgender/Gender Non-Conforming (TGNC). This webinar will explore the practices that may place LGB and TGNC people at risk for HCV transmission and identify harm reduction strategies to reduce their risk. Screening recommendations and key considerations for HCV care and treatment in LGB and TGNC clients will be addressed.

As a result of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Review basic information about HCV prevention, transmission, screening, diagnosis, care and treatment
  • Explore HCV risk and identify harm reduction options for LGB and TGNC health
  • Discuss the benefits of HCV testing and connection to care.
  • Identify HCV prevention messages using Harm Reduction to educate LGB and TGNC clients
  • Address common concerns that LGB and TGN clients may have regarding HCV care and treatment

Target Audience

All health and human service providers, including peer workers.

HCV Treatment Update for Health and Human Services Providers

This 2 -hour webinar will describe the role of non-clinical health and human services providers in supporting clients living with chronic hepatitis C as they consider starting hepatitis C treatment. Participants will become familiar with current guidelines regarding treatment, issues relating to treatment access, and patient assistance resources.

As a result of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the recent progress in treatment options for patients living with hepatitis C (shorter duration, fewer side effects, better health outcomes)
  • Describe the importance of engaging in primary care, regardless of the clients intent to undergo treatment
  • Identify strategies to support clients as they prepare for and engage in HCV treatment
  • Define sustained virologic response (SVR)
  • Discuss strategies to address the risk of reinfection with clients who achieve SVR

Target Audience

All health and human service providers.

Implementing a Sex-positive Approach

This webinar series will prepare non-physician health and human services providers with the knowledge, attitudes, and skills needed to employ a non-judgmental, sex positive approach during all interactions with clients. The course will be delivered in six parts over three days for a total of 13.0 hours of training.

As a result of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Demonstrate comfort talking about sexual health, sexual behavior, and sexual pleasure
  • Demonstrate comfort using either medical terms or slang terms for different sexual behaviors and parts of human genitalia
  • Be familiar with the practice of using substances to enhance sexual pleasure
  • Discuss the risk of HIV transmission during different sexual behaviors and present a range of harm reduction options
  • Share client-centered, culturally appropriate messages about HIV treatment as prevention and U=U
  • Explain PrEP as an empowering, sex-positive biomedical intervention for HIV prevention without using scare tactics
  • Explain birth control/contraceptive options with clients in a culturally responsive manner
  • Use open-ended questions when asking clients about their sexual desires and experiences, and actively listen to responses
  • Use affirming language around gender identify, gender expression, sexuality and sexual orientation

Target audience

Non-physician health and human services providers who work with clients/patients at risk for HIV or STIs, including prevention specialists, PrEP specialists, peer workers, case managers, care managers and coordinators, social workers, client services staff.

Trauma and Its Impact on Clients with HIV/STIs/HCV

This one-hour webinar will introduce providers to trauma and the impact on clients with HIV/STIs/HCV. This course will review the definition of trauma and trauma informed care.

At the end of this training, participants will be able to:

  • Define trauma and list examples of trauma that clients with HIV/STIs/HCV encounter
  • Describe the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Study and its importance to providers
  • Define trauma informed care
  • List at least 5 triggers that may re-traumatize clients with HIV/STIs/HCV

Target Audience

All non-physician health and human service providers who work with people living with HIV/STIs/HCV.

RTC Training Calendar

You must have an account with the NYS Department of Health AIDS Institute and be logged in to learn more about and register for these trainings.

If you do not have an account, you can quickly create an account at the AIDS Institute site and then return to this page to see all trainings.

Course Title (registration link) Course Date Course Time
HCV Treatment Update for Health and Human Services Providers 5/24/22 1 p.m. ET
Implementing a Sex Positive Approach Series 6/7/22 10 a.m. ET
Meeting and Working with Clients Remotely 6/14/22 1 p.m. ET
Safer Sex During COVID 6/16/22 1 p.m. ET
Role of Non-clinicians in Promoting PrEP 6/22/22 1 p.m. ET
Health Literacy in HIV/STI and Viral Hepatitis Care  6/24/22 1 p.m. ET
Hepatitis C Prevention for LGB and TGNC Individuals and Communities 6/27/22 1 p.m. ET
HCV Treatment Update for Health and Human Services Providers 6/29/22 1 p.m. ET
Safer Sex During COVID-19 7/19/22 1 p.m. ET
Role of Non-clinicians in Promoting PrEP 7/20/22 1 p.m. ET
Health Literacy in HIV/STI and Viral Hepatitis Care  7/25/22 1 p.m. ET
Hepatitis C Prevention for LGB and TGNC Individuals and Communities 7/26/22 1 p.m. ET
HCV Treatment Update for Health and Human Services Providers 7/27/22 1 p.m. ET
Implementing a Sex Positive Approach Series 8/8/22 10 a.m. ET
Safer Sex During COVID-19 8/16/22 1 p.m. ET
Role of Non-clinicians in Promoting PrEP 8/17/22 1 p.m. ET
Hepatitis C Prevention for LGB and TGNC Individuals and Communities 8/23/22 1 p.m. ET
HCV Treatment Update for Health and Human Services Providers 8/24/22 1 p.m. ET
Health Literacy in HIV/STI and Viral Hepatitis Care  9/13/22 1 p.m. ET
Implementing a Sex Positive Approach Series 9/14/22 10 a.m. ET
Implementing a Sex Positive Approach Series 10/25/22 10 a.m. ET