Online Trainings Strengthen HIV Prevention, Testing, and Treatment Efforts

Advocates for YouthFinding the time and resources to take advantage of in-person trainings can be challenging (if not impossible) for staff at many organizations. “I am continually seeking new and innovative ways to provide valuable information on social media and digital strategizing to our volunteer Board of Directors, many of whom have had little or no experience in this area,” said Robert Carroll, the Board President for the Association for Nurses in AIDS Care Exit Disclaimer (ANAC). Trainings delivered online can make it more convenient and cost-effective for people in the HIV community to access vital opportunities to strengthen HIV prevention, testing and treatment efforts.

Online trainings are often also referred to as distance learning, eLearning, synchronous or asynchronous trainings, or self-paced trainings. Depending on the format:

  • online trainings may or may not be led by an instructor or require participants to access them at a specific time.
  • synchronous trainings involve online interaction with an instructor in real time,
  • asynchronous training allows participants to complete the training at their own convenience.

Just as online trainings go by different names, they can also be delivered in different ways. Instructor-led trainings are often delivered via webinars, live chats or a formal online course that may last several days or weeks. Participants can access self-paced, on-demand training via interactive modules, videos, podcasts, eBooks and archived webinar recordings. Blended training combines self-paced and instructor-led activities to appeal to a variety of learning styles and approaches.

Some free online training resources that the HIV community can benefit from:

  • Using Social Media Strategically in Response to HIV Exit Disclaimer, introduces social media tools for HIV prevention, including examples of how these tools are being used by the HIV community, and details how to develop, monitor, and evaluate a social media strategy in your own organization. The second module, Fundamentals of Monitoring and Evaluation Exit Disclaimer, introduces you to common monitoring and evaluation terms and different types of evaluation, and the role of all staff in program monitoring and evaluation. Mr. Carroll remarked, “In line with our goal of moving forward with organizational social media strategizing, we have found the ‘Using Social Media Strategically in Response to HIV’ e-learning program helped training participants who had varying levels of social media experience on the many ways these communication modalities can be integrated into our everyday work, and create new opportunities for organizational growth and enhancement.”
  • HIV Prevention Goes Social is a two part series available from the National Minority AIDS Council Exit Disclaimer. Using Social Media to Connect, Create, and Come Together Exit Disclaimer, introduces basic social media concepts and discusses how they can be used to promote healthy behaviors and community building. Part II, Social Media Strategy, Policy, & Monitoring Workbook Exit Disclaimer, digs deeper into three key areas: social media strategy, use policies and guidelines, and monitoring and evaluation. Agency and non-profit staff can use the workbook to begin applying the concepts introduced in the toolkit.
  • The Resource Center for Prevention with Persons Living with HIV Exit Disclaimer provides a variety of online training opportunities that focus on strategies to support prevention among persons living with HIV to improve their health and reduce the risk of HIV transmission to sex partners, including The Prevention Benefit of ART for HIV-infected Patients Exit Disclaimer. The course is broken into four self-paced modules that introduce the HIV care and treatment cascade, connection between health outcomes and antiretroviral therapy (ART) , the prevention benefits of ART, and psychosocial considerations that influence clinicians’ recommendations about initiating ART.

Do you have a useful training resource to recommend? Leave a comment to let us know!


  1. Tim Barrus says:

    I work with young boys who do sex work. It amazes me you think that anything you have described would go to reaching them. It would never happen. It makes a lot of sense to me why infection rates numbers and hard to reach populations are so intransigent. I have to stop reading this stuff from you. It is depressing. You live on an entirely different planet.

  2. Tim Barrus says:

    Since I am a censored voice at, I will leave my comments about on the twenty other blogs I write and make videos for that are managed by the various foundations I deal with. I just posted the following and a video to go with it at YouTube, and Tumblr. I find it abhorrent and self-defeating, and typically bureaucratic that you brook no criticism, no alternative ideas, and yet you claim to reach the hard to reach populations at-risk for HIV. This claim is disingenuous. The subcultures I know are not represented by any of your ideas. None of which are innovative. I work with young boys who do sex work. You fail to reach them whatsoever. You would cut their voices out, too. That much is obvious. The very people you claim to reach are banned at This is discrimination beneath contempt. We have been into social media for some time. You are quite late to it. Some of us have moved beyond it and have created our own grapevines that keep us connected in any number of ways but especially through the power of video.

    In the video we just made (we are not allowed html tags here, how modern of you, so I can’t link) we used a sex worker reaching out. His arms are reaching out. Of course, that reaching out is not reciprocated. The video came out pretty good. It is accompanied on the various blogs with this text:

    “Tim Barrus: is not reaching the most at-risk for HIV populations that are defined as the Hard to Reach or the infection rates would not be so intransigent. We are reaching for the same goal. But the fundamental cultural divide means we live on quite separate planets. The slogan — AIDS-Free generation — trivializes the reality that there are subcultures whose existence has always been predicated on living marginal lives as they relate to ever embracing the mainstream values that is focused on even as they censor the very voices from those subcultures that they claim need to be reached. They censor any comment that is not in agreement with their working paradigms. They have not reached young boys doing sex work, and they never will. Their reach just doesn’t extend beyond the limited perception that the mainstream represents the entirety and the gravity of the pandemic to the extent that they feel compelled to change their paradigm beyond the values of the traditional government media publicist. AIDS is not an animal that is going to be fixed by social media or the shenanigans perpetrated by public relations as these things are mainstream ideas, not the reality of any subculture I would know of whose focus is usually not just one of survival but is a reality of immediate survival. There is a difference. One can postpone reinforcement. The other needs its reinforcement now before it disappears back into the shadows.” — Tim Barrus

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