AAHU Science and Treatment College
The AAHU Science and Treatment College is a four-stage program sponsored by the Black AIDS Institute and the University of California, Los Angeles Center for World Health in which Fellows learn to promote high quality care in HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention by building the skills and capacity of HIV/AIDS science literacy and treatment strategies.
THE LEARNING PROCESS
The curriculum focuses on human biology, virology, pharmacokinetics, epidemiology, biomedical interventions, treatment preventions services and policy changes. It prepares Fellows to help community-based and AIDS service organizations serve as qualified liaisons between people living with HIV/AIDS and the entities that serve them.
The College uses a unique method for facilitating communication among treatment and care advocates, exploring the complex issues and barriers that prevent many in the Black community from accessing treatment services and obtaining viral suppression. Fellows are immersed in an environment that requires them to continually practice and assess their skills, not simply listen to lectures.
The 12-month long Fellowship supports the development of strong professional relationships and bonding that occurs through common experience, preparing participants for the networking opportunities that occur in their communities and beyond.
Training sessions take place four times throughout the 12-month fellowship. The sessions are held in Los Angeles at UCLA and Black AIDS Institute campuses. Leading researchers and community advocates from across the country deliver content to ensure Fellows leave trainings with information needed to successfully complete their internship.
THE FOUR STC TRAINING MODULES
Science Academy: This first module is a 30-day intensive on HIV science, biomedical and behavior interventions, effective communication, epidemiology and leadership. Fellows will identify available resources and assess the needs of the community.
Community Mobilization: During this seven-day training, Fellows learn how to conduct a community needs assessment to learn strategies to influence mobilization through strategic partnerships and action planning, review national and local HIV/AIDS policies and mobilization efforts, and implement, monitor and evaluate strategies to engage the community in HIV treatment education and advocacy.
Advanced Science Skills: Over seven days, Fellows advance their knowledge of HIV and their ability to plan, develop, and implement effective community based HIV biomedical interventions. Fellows review science and treatment, health behavior theories, group level interventions and the role of community organizing.
HIV Intervention: In this last seven-day training, Fellows develop techniques for delivering prevention messages to those high risk of or living with HIV/AIDS. Fellows also increase their understanding of HIV-related research and advancements and patho-physiology and treatment leading to viral suppression.
Fellows have specific assignments during internships such as conducting a local training, completing a community assessment, forging a strategic action plan, planning a mobilization campaign or evaluating and monitoring their own progress and challenges.
Whether it's advocating for increased local research for biomedical interventions or mobilizing local patient navigators to retain people in care, internships are where "the rubber hits the pavement. They are where Fellows apply and practice skills and knowledge obtained in trainings.