AETC Program Mission and History

Who We Are

The 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 network is comprised of 11 regional centers (and more than 100 local performance sites), 3 national centers, 9 telehealth centers and 8 graduate/health profession programs.

What We Do

AETC trainer in classroom

The AETC Program transforms HIV care by providing healthcare teams with education and capacity building support. Healthcare professionals trained by the AETCs develop the confidence and competency to address HIV-related issues, and are more willing than other primary care providers to treat persons living with HIV.

The AETC Program supports the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) by increasing the number of healthcare teams educated and motivated to care for individuals with HIV, and increasing access to care, thereby reducing HIV-related health disparities. The mission of the AETC Program is to improve the quality of life of persons living with or at risk of HIV throughout the United States, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the six U.S.-affiliated Pacific Jurisdictions.

How We Help


AETC training is targeted to providers who serve marginalized and resource poor populations of high HIV prevalence including: homeless, incarcerated, adolescent/young adult, transgender, gay/bisexual men, substance using, and immigrant/migrant persons residing in the U.S. The AETCs focus on training diverse groups of clinicians including physicians, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, nurses, oral health professionals, and pharmacists, as well as other multidisciplinary HIV care team members working in Ryan White and STD clinics, hospitals, community-based organizations, health departments, mental health and addiction treatment facilities, and other healthcare facilities.

Training activities are offered in-person, online and via distanced-based platforms, and are based upon assessed local needs.

An interactive training approach is emphasized to assist providers with complex issues related to the management of HIV care and treatment. AETCs collaborate with Ryan White grantees, health education centers, community-based HIV/AIDS organizations, and medical and health professional organizations.

The AETC Program has sponsored more than 700,000 training interactions for providers since 1991.

Consultation, Capacity Building, and Technical Assistance

Regional, local, and national AETCs, and teleheath and graduate health/profession programs provide case-based and organizational education, training, consulting and technical assistance.

Regional centers and local sites work directly within the community through targeted training and by linking providers with local experts.

National centers provide resources, assistance and training to support healthcare professionals and faculty in the AETC network and beyond. The national centers are:

  • The National HIV/AIDS Clinicians' Consultation Center (NCCC) operates a Warmline for individual clinician case consultations, a PEPLine for consultations on post-exposure prophylaxis, and a Perinatal Hotline for questions about the care of HIV-infected pregnant women as well as indications and interpretations of HIV tests.
  • The AETC National Resource Center (NRC) offers a virtual library of online training resources for adaptation by HIV care providers and other healthcare professionals to meet local training needs.
  • The AETC National Evaluation Center (NEC) provides leadership in the development, design, testing, and dissemination of effective evaluation models for the AETCs. In particular, the NEC works with individual AETCs to evaluate the effects their education and training programs have on participant behavior and clinical practice with respect to changes in knowledge and skills, clinical practice behavior, and improved patient outcomes.

Telehealth centers provide distance-based group clinical consultation, education and mentoring for healthcare providers treating persons living with HIV in remote or hard-to-reach areas.

Graduate/health profession programs support developmental work to expand existing accredited primary care residency, graduate nursing, and physician assistant programs to prepare the next generation of HIV care health professionals

Brief History of the AETC Program

The AIDS Education and Training Center Program was established in 1987 by the Department of Health and Human Services' (DHHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). It is currently funded under Part F of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program of HRSA, HIV/AIDS Bureau, and is administered in the Division of Training and Technical Assistance. For more information on the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, please visit the HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau website. Included on the site are Biennial Progress Reports on the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, and the Ryan White Program Fact Sheet.


Photo credit: Marla Corwin