Cross-posted from HHS Viral Hepatitis Blog
A free, online curriculum about HIV/hepatitis C (HCV) co-infection for healthcare providers and healthcare staff educators now offers free continuing medical and nursing education credits (CME/CNEs). The curriculum, released in 2017, provides evidence-based education for healthcare providers and trainers of healthcare providers to increase their knowledge of HIV and HCV co-infection among people of color in the U.S. and its territories. The curriculum is structured around six core competencies identified as essential for providers treating co-infected people living with HIV and it covers prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment recommendations. Free CME/CNE credits are being provided through the Rutgers University Center for Professional Development.
The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program’s AIDS Education and Training Centers (AETC) developed the evidence-based curriculum, HCV/HIV Co-infection: An AETC National Curriculum. National HIV experts and staff from HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau (HRSA/HAB) provided input. It was developed as a component of Jurisdictional Approaches to Curing Hepatitis C among HIV/HCV Co-infected People of Color, a HRSA/HAB project supported by the Secretary's Minority AIDS Initiative Fund (SMAIF).
An estimated 20-25% of people living with HIV in the U.S. are coinfected with hepatitis C. People who are coinfected with HIV and HCV are a priority population for HCV prevention, diagnosis, and treatment because liver disease progresses faster and liver-related death is common among this population. These deaths are preventable because we can cure HCV. Given the prevalence of HCV infection in this population and the significant opportunity that curative HCV treatment now offers, the National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan includes people living with HIV/HCV co-infection among the populations it has prioritized for improved testing and diagnoses, access to care, and treatment. In this new era of curative hepatitis C treatments that have fewer side effects and are equally effective in people living with HIV, this new online training is an important resource for health professionals and will help expand capacity for treating everyone living with HIV/HCV co-infection.
A useful tool for clinicians of all types, faculty, trainers, and students, the six core competencies are:
- Epidemiological background of HIV/HCV co-infection in the United States;
- Primary and secondary prevention of viral hepatitis among people living with HIV in the United States;
- Screening, testing, and diagnosis of HCV infection among people living with HIV;
- HCV treatment guidelines for adults living with HIV;
- Recommendations for subpopulations of people living with HIV/HCV co-infection; and
- Recommendations to address barriers related to screening, testing, treatment, and care of HCV co-infected people living with HIV.
Each core competency, or section is available in PowerPoint slide format, which can be easily adapted for training and sharing. Links to additional resources and more information are included throughout. CME/CNEs are available for each module. To earn free continuing education credits (CME or CNE), you must register and complete the course modules on the Rutgers University Center for Professional Development website.
Learn more and access the curriculum at aidsetc.org/hivhcv, then share it with your network to help build the expertise and capacity to eliminate HCV co-infection among people living with HIV.