The AETC Program is Transforming HIV Care

One of Achieving Together’s Focus Areas is to Collaborate, Cooperate, and Coordinate across Systems. This involves creating systems and processes to share data and resources and to build collaborative partnerships. AIDS Education and Training Centers (AETCs) play an important role in building partnerships and increasing the capacity of HIV providers.

AIDS Education and Training Centers are a national network of leading HIV experts who provide locally-based, tailored education, clinical consultation and technical assistance to healthcare professionals and healthcare organizations to integrate state-of-the-science comprehensive care for those living with or affected by HIV. The AETC Program transforms HIV care by building the capacity to provide accessible, high-quality treatment and services throughout the United States and its territories. 

Texas is part of the South Central AETC (SCAETC) region, with a regional central office at the University of New Mexico (UNM) at Project ECHO. SCAETC has six regional partner sites in Texas who support the SCAETC mission to increase the number of healthcare providers who are effectively educated and motivated to counsel, diagnose, treat, and medically manage people living with HIV, and to help prevent HIV transmission. The program serves all healthcare team members (from those new to the field to experts), health profession students and faculty, and other multidisciplinary care team members.

Highlighted trainings from our Texas partners for 2022 include:

  • VAC Project ECHO: Linkage to Care and Case Management virtual sessions are held biweekly on Thursdays. These ECHO sessions unite a multidisciplinary team of experts providing care to HIV positive persons in rural, under served, and key population areas.
  • VAC Rural HIV ECHO sessions are offered on a Bi-monthly basis on 1st Friday of the month. These sessions primarily focus on rural HIV care services providers and how they have acclimated to the pandemic to continue to serve clients. More information on project ECHO can be found here.
  • The PASO site in Amarillo hosts online training in collaboration with Texas Tech HSC that can be found at:
  • Our Houston/BCM partner, in collaboration with partners VAC and UTHSA and TX Dept. of State Health Services, will offer the second Texas Rapid Start Institute in early 2022. The session will be workshop-based to provide health professionals with tools for developing and implementing Rapid Start programs.
  • A comprehensive lunch-hour Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) webinar series planned for January 2022 that PHNTX partner is developing. The new series will support management throughout a patient’s life stages and throughout the life cycles from at-risk, to living with HIV, and beyond diagnosis of HIV.
  • The 2022 National Latinx Conference will be held March 24-March 26, 2022, in Albuquerque as a Hybrid event. The Conference on HIV/HCV/Substance Use Disorders (SUD) aims to provide healthcare and social service providers with innovative concepts, best practices, and new information on how to better serve Latinx communities. Workshops will cover a wide range of topics essential to all healthcare providers and practitioners who serve the Latinx Community.
  • The 6th Annual UTMB-SCAETC conference to be held in May (date and time TBD) will be a full-day, high-energy conference to consider how together we can change the face of HIV prevention and care in Texas.
  • The VAC 2022 LGBTQ Health = PRIDE conference will be held in June to provide Healthcare and Social Service Providers with innovative concepts and best practices on how to better serve the LGBTQ+ Latinx communities.
  • The 2022 South Texas Health Equity Conference is planned for September and focuses on all aspects of Health Equity in the South Texas Region.
  • The UTMB site will offer “Countering Stigma and Discrimination in Institutional Culture” and “Engaging Patients in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Who Can Quickly become Lost in the System” (date and time TBD).

Please visit our registration website here for more information and to participate in upcoming training events. For more information on the SCAETC program in general visit or contact

Resource Spotlight: Center for Innovation and Engagement Website

At Achieving Together, we recognize that increasing medication adherence and retention in care among people living with HIV is a necessary component of ending the HIV epidemic. Here in Texas, 70% of people living with HIV were retained in treatment and care in 2019. Of those retained in care in 2019, 86% achieved viral suppression. Under the Achieving Together Plan, Texas’ goals by 2030 are for 90% of people living with HIV to be retained in care and treatment and for 90% of those retained in care to achieve viral suppression.  Given this is where Texas sits in the HIV epidemic, Achieving Together encourages HIV providers, community organizations and institutions to look for resources which support capacity building activities across the HIV continuum. One such resource is the Center for Innovation and Engagement (CIE).

NASTAD recently launched a new resource to help HIV providers address concerns related to retention in care. The Center for Innovation and Engagement (CIE) website, which is supported by the HRSA HAB Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) Branch, shares innovative, evidence-informed interventions that support linkage, re-engagement, and retention in care to help end the HIV epidemic. Watch this welcome video to learn more about the project’s goals:

Here’s how NASTAD describes the website:

“CIE serves as a culmination of the collaboration between NASTAD, Northwestern University, Howard Brown Health Center, and Impact Marketing + Communications to identify some of the most effective evidence-based and evidence-informed interventions available and transform them into actionable tools, innovative frameworks, and adaptable resources. Our website showcases a myriad of innovative intervention how-to-guides that are “ready to replicate,” our process for selecting innovative approaches, and much more!

An example intervention that is available now is the Bilingual/Bicultural Care Team intervention. This intervention provides an opportunity to engage and retain Hispanic/Latinx adults with HIV by offering culturally and linguistically appropriate care services, leading to improved retention in HIV care and viral suppression. The intervention was modeled after a program developed by the Truman Medical Center (TMC) in Kansas City, Missouri during the years of 2005-2006. TMC experienced a significant increase in clients scheduling and keeping appointments, from a mean of 2.81 to 5.30 visits per year. The viral suppression rate among clients who met the criteria for ARV therapy increased by 31.5 percent.”

To support the real-world replication of the cataloged interventions, CIE provides steps for implementation and resources such as, but not limited to, replication tips, job aids, a cost calculator, and technical assistance.

Have you explored this website yet? Did it help generate any new ideas? Tell us about it!

Data Literacy Video Series

One of the tools that’s going to help us end the HIV epidemic in Texas is using data-based decision making as we move forward with making innovations and systemic changes around the state. Understanding and knowing how to collect and analyze different types of data will help us understand what changes we need to make. To do that, we all need to better understand data, how to use it and how to talk about it with our communities. In order to support communities, we are excited to announce our new Data Literacy video series! This video series will include brief overviews of everything you need to be a data superhero!

Continue reading “Data Literacy Video Series”