New online portal to HIV education resources

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The Clinical Education and Training Program at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) has launched a new website that serves as an easy-to-access portal to valuable informational and scholarly resources. Created to provide educational information regarding HIV to clinicians and health care professionals in BC, the site has a wealth of free tools and information for patients and their caregivers.

The BC-CfE’s Clinical Education and Training Program is designed to improve HIV/AIDS clinical care and treatment through personalized learning, tailored to the individual needs of HIV patients. The program’s website includes events and training programs available both online – such as informative videos, webinars, and online courses – and in clinical settings – such as Preceptorship programs. Training is offered to health care professionals, allied health professionals, community frontline workers and health science students throughout British Columbia and Canada. For the use of patients and their families, there are lists of resources and community-based supports in British Columbia, searchable by region.

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For physicians looking for accredited education in the treatment and care of those living with HIV and AIDS, the BC-CfE Clinical Education website serves as a link to the Preceptorship postgraduate program at the University of British Columbia’s Department of Family Practice. Designed for family physicians and family practice residents, the program consists of rotations at the Immunodeficiency Clinic (IDC) and other related clinics at St. Paul’s Hospital. Preceptors get hands-on, specialized, and varied experience in the primary care of HIV patients in the IDC under the direction of an experienced HIV physician, within the primary care clinic and in elective HIV specialist clinics, the outpatient pharmacy, inpatient activities, research clinics and teaching rounds.

“We are very excited to be launching the Clinical Education website as a pathway to accessible resources, educational programs, and information on the treatment of those with HIV,” said Dr. Silvia Guillemi, director of the BC-CfE Clinical Education and Training Program and assistant medical director at IDC. “HIV is now chronic, manageable illness and many HIV patients are currently treated by primary care providers. Through Treatment as Prevention, we can help to stop the spread of HIV. For this reason, and for improving the health and wellbeing of their patients, it is critical for health care professionals to stay on top of the latest research and clinical advances in treatment and care. We at the BC-CFE provide training and educational resources for family physicians and other primary care providers, ensuring patients can receive state-of-the-art care in their own communities.”

The website is a valuable tool for health care professionals to stay in the know on the latest events, news and updates in HIV treatment, guidelines and research. Critical reviews of research literature on HIV are available through the IDC Journal Club. The website hosts recorded videos of various educational events, ranging from biweekly clinical rounds for hospital staff (HIV Care Rounds) to monthly public lectures featuring speakers working in the field of HIV/AIDS from various health and medical disciplines, as well as research perspectives (Forefront Lectures). Videos of the HIV/Antiretroviral Updates, hosted by the BC-CfE on a biannual basis and open to the public, are also archived. Accredited by the College of Family Physicians of Canada, the presentations by leading local and international experts cover the latest clinical findings and research related to the management of HIV-positive individuals.

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Physicians and other healthcare professionals can also access online courses developed by the experts at the BC-CfE, free of charge. For physicians and nurse practitioners, the HIV Diagnosis and Management course provides an epidemiological and clinical overview of HIV treatment, and is accredited by the College of Family Physicians of Canada. The HIV Treatment Information for Support Workers is an introduction to HIV care designed for allied healthcare professionals and community workers. A new online course on interprofessional HIV care for nurses, allied professionals and community workers is under development and will be launched in spring 2015.

Health care providers and communities affected by HIV across B.C. and Canada can access the HIV/AIDS Webinar Learning Series, which is a partnership between the Positive Living B.C. and the BC-CfE. Broadcast live every three to four months, these one-hour online sessions – offered free of charge – provide an opportunity for providers and communities in remote rural regions to access information about HIV and to interact with experts at the BC-CfE. Videos of previous webinars are also available on the website. Sign up for updates on webinars by following this link: http://tinyurl.com/clinicaledu

Visit the Clinical Education website today: http://education.cfenet.ubc.ca/

For more information about any of the Clinical Education programs at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, please contact us at Education@cfenet.ubc.ca.