Online Trainings Strengthen HIV Prevention, Testing, and Treatment Efforts

Content From: Elizabeth Costello, Consultant, John Snow, Inc.Published: August 13, 20133 min read


Advocates for Youth

Finding 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 CareExit 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 HIVExit 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 EvaluationExit 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 CouncilExit Disclaimer. Using Social Media to Connect, Create, and Come TogetherExit 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 WorkbookExit 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 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. 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!