Regional Training Center

The Regional Training Center 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.

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.

The initiative

CAI’s Regional Training Center 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.

The 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

Leadership and contact

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

RTC Training Calendar and Course Descriptions

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.

This four-hour training will help participants identify good practices for conducting screening for social determinants of health (SDOH) in a client-centered, affirming manner. Participants will learn about available screening tools, including a standardized AIDS Institute SDOH screening tool. The training will share strategies for explaining the importance of SDOH screening to clients, engaging them in determining their own priorities, and good practices for making referrals to other resources and services to address unmet needs.

As a result of this training, non-physician health, and human service providers will be able to:

  • Explain to clients the importance of screening for Social Determinants of Health.
  • Identify best practices for conducting Social Determinants of Health screening in a client-centered, affirming manner.
  • Conduct Social Determinants of Health screening in a manner that builds trust and rapport.
  • Engage the client in the process of prioritizing and addressing unmet needs.
    Identify best practices for connecting clients to resources and services to address their unmet needs.

Target audience

Non-physician health and human service providers who work with clients/patients who are living with, or are at risk for, HIV, HCV, or STIs, are LGBT/GNC, or who use substances, including social workers, nurses, care coordinators, case managers, peer workers, prevention specialists, PrEP specialists, client services staff, and others.

Register for an upcoming training

No trainings currently scheduled.

This two-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.
  • Identify common concerns and challenges associated with incorporating plain language and teach back method with all patients.

Target audience

Health and human service providers and peer workers.

Register for an upcoming training

No trainings currently scheduled.

This two-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 client's 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.

Register for an upcoming training

No trainings currently scheduled.

There have been significant advances in Hepatitis C treatment over the past several years. The goal of this webinar series is to help health and human services providers understand the goals and advantages of treatment.

  • Session 1: Hepatitis C Overview: What Service Providers Need to Know (1.5 hours)
  • Session 2: Hepatitis C Screening, Care and Disease Progression (2 hours)
  • Session 3: Hepatitis C Treatment Update for Service Providers (2 hours)

Participants MUST attend all three sessions to receive credit for this course.

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

  • Describe the goals of HCV treatment.
  • Describe the progress made in treatment options for people living with Hepatitis C
  • Define sustained virologic response (SVR).
  • Identify strategies to support clients as they prepare for and engage in HCV treatment.

Target audience

Non-physician health and human services providers.

Register for an upcoming training

No trainings currently scheduled.

This two-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.

Register for an upcoming training

No trainings currently scheduled.

This two-part webinar series will provide participants with an opportunity to practice key skills related to offering HIV testing services.

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

  • Recall the need and requirements for HIV testing.
  • Recall the benefits of treatment as prevention, PrEP, and PEP.
  • Deliver a non-reactive, preliminary positive, and confirmed positive HIV test result.
  • Conduct the NYS domestic violence screening protocol and steps for partner notification.

Target audience

Any individual involved in delivering HIV testing services, including peer workers.

Prerequisite

Knowledge of basic HIV/AIDS information and attendance at "HIV Testing in NYS: Online Training" or equivalent.

Register for an upcoming training

No trainings currently scheduled.

This webinar will provide participants with an opportunity to practice key skills related to offering HIV testing services.

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

  • Recall the need and requirements for HIV testing.
  • Recall the benefits of treatment as prevention, PrEP, and PEP.
  • Deliver a non-reactive, preliminary positive, and confirmed positive HIV test result.
  • Conduct the NYS domestic violence screening protocol and steps for partner notification.

Target audience

Any individual involved in delivering HIV testing services, including peer workers.

Prerequisite

Knowledge of basic HIV/AIDS information and attendance at “HIV Testing in NYS: Online Training” or equivalent.

Register for an upcoming training

No trainings currently scheduled.

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 series, 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.

Register for an upcoming training

Tuesday, February 20 - Thursday, February 22, 2024, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

This one-day training will introduce non-physician health and human service providers to co-occurring disorders (substance use and mental health disorders) and their impact on people living with HIV.  The training will review the impact of trauma and stigma on care and the elements of an integrated treatment approach for COD.  Participants will also be offered tools to identify “red flags” or warning signs that might indicate a problem with substance use and/or mental health in order to make referrals for treatment.

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

  • Define the term “co-occurring disorders” as it applies to substance use and mental health;
  • Have a basic understanding of the criteria for the most common mental health and substance use disorders;
  • Understand the impact of trauma and stigma on client care;
  • Define the term “integrated treatment approach”;
  • Identify “red flags” to assist in making appropriate referrals;
  • Understand how the management of COD will improve health outcomes for people living with HIV

Target audience

All non-physician health and human service providers who work with people living with HIV

Register for an upcoming training

Tuesday, February 27, 2024, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

This training will prepare non-physician health and human service providers with the knowledge and skills for providing stigma-free, affirming, sex-positive interactions with all clients.

Participants will learn that sexual health is the ability to embrace and enjoy sexuality throughout one’s life. It is a natural and normal part of overall health and is more than avoiding disease and unwanted pregnancy. This training will introduce participants to the belief that sexual health and sexuality are an important part of one’s emotional and physical health.

As a result of this half-day training, care coordinators and other non-physician health and human service providers will be able to:

  • Identify the six principles of sexual health
    Assist clients in recognizing the sexual rights of all beings.
  • Help clients access sexual health information and services.
  • Demonstrate a sex-positive approach to interactions with clients by recognizing that sexuality is natural and sexual pleasure, intimacy, and satisfaction are an integral part of overall health.

Register for an upcoming training

Tuesday, March 26, 2024, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

This two-part webinar is designed to build the knowledge, attitudes, and skills needed to enable non-physician health and human services providers to deliver culturally competent services to the diverse range of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ+) clients they serve. This interactive training will help providers identify best practices for creating a welcoming and safe environment for LGBTQ+ clients. It will also help participants identify communication skills for, or living with HIV, STIs, or Hepatitis C.

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

  • Define various gender and sexuality terminologies, including identities and concepts, used in LGBTQ+ communities.
  • Differentiate that sex assigned at birth, gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation are each their own distinct concepts and that they exist on a continuum.
  • Distinguish between various forms of oppression experienced by LGBTQ+ people and how these levels are interconnected.
  • Understand the concepts of unexamined privilege and its relationship with oppression.
  • Reflect on and identify one's own privileges and types of oppression in professional settings and how their privilege/oppression affects their client/provider relationship.
  • Define social determinants of health.
  • Identify reasons why LGBTQ+ people are disproportionately at risk based on social determinants of health.
  • Recognize specific LGBTQ+ health disparities among various LGBTQ+ subpopulations.
  • Describe protective factors for LGBTQ+ people that counter health risks.
  • Identify strategies that organizations/agencies can adopt or create to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ clients/patients and staff.

Target audience

This training is for non-clinical health and human service providers who work with LGBTQ+ clients or patients.

Register for an upcoming training

No trainings currently scheduled.

This two-hour 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 two resources for meeting with clients remotely.
  • Describe at least three 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.

Register for an upcoming training

Monday, March 25, 2024, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

This 2-hour webinar will give you an overview of the 1-day face-to-face training that will prepare non-physician health and human service providers and peer workers with the knowledge, attitude, and skills needed to assist clients who are on PrEP and who have experienced sexual trauma. Given the prevalence of sexual violence and intimate partner violence (IPV), it is likely that Health and Human Service Providers providing PrEP/PEP service will interact with clients who are dealing with past, current, or possible future sexual assault or IPV.

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

  • Ensure a supportive, compassionate attitude when a client reports past, current, or concerns about possible future sexual assault or IPV.
  • Identify resources for sexual assault and IPV and refer clients to these services when needed.
  • Explain to a client that PrEP/PEP may be an effective HIV prevention option in cases where an individual is afraid of a partner or not able to otherwise negotiate safer sex.
  • Utilize a strength-based approach to support the client's independence, resilience, well-being safety, and ability to make choices.
    Identify best practices for exploring the intersection of trauma, fears, stigma, and ambivalence related to decision-making around PrEP/PEP use.

Target audience

Non-physician health and human service 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, clients service staff, and others.

Prerequisites:

Implementing a Sex Positive Approach and Trauma-Informed Care 101 (previously titled "Sex, Gender, and HIV/STD")

Register for an upcoming training

No trainings currently scheduled.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis is an important addition to the HIV prevention toolbox, especially for individuals at highest risk of acquiring HIV. This two-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

Register for an upcoming training

No trainings currently scheduled.

This 3-hour hybrid training will prepare a wide range of staff and other support services providers who work in medical clinics (hospital- and school-based as well as community health clinics), community-based organizations, and other sites where providers deliver services to a person at risk for HIV infection 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
    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.
  • Partner with local providers that prescribe PrEP to promote easy access to PrEP.

Target audience

Non-clinically trained staff who work in clinical settings who may have an opportunity to provide education or support around PrEP.

Register for an upcoming training

No trainings currently scheduled.

This two-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.

Register for an upcoming training

No trainings currently scheduled.

This two-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 five 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.

Register for an upcoming training

Tuesday, March 12, 2024, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

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