HIV/AIDS Certification for Healthcare Workers: A Complete Guide

HIV/AIDS certification

AIDS was first identified in the United States in 1981 but likely existed in the U.S. since the 1970s. It took about 3 years for scientists to tie AIDS to its root cause, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and by that time it was estimated that somewhere between 100,000-300,000 people were already living with HIV/AIDS.

Since then, science and best practices have come a long way. Research on HIV/AIDS physiology and management has evolved to the point that people can live long and happy lives after having contracted HIV, but the problem is far from solved. In 2021, more than 36,000 new HIV diagnoses were made in the U.S. alone, and it remains an incurable and ongoing challenge for the healthcare industry. 

HIV/AIDS certification is key training that keeps healthcare workers and patients safe in settings where they come into contact with potentially infected body fluids. The organizations that provide it are leading the ongoing fight against this everpresent disease, and arming health professionals with the information and training they need to provide the best possible care. 

HIV/AIDS Certifications

Professional certification is a testament to someone’s expertise in a given specialty, validating that their knowledge, skills, and experience meet widely accepted and rigorous standards of health and safety. Certification is supportive of patient outcomes, and for many healthcare workers, it increases both their professional stature and personal satisfaction in their role. 

Because managing the complications and challenges HIV/AIDS presents is an unavoidable daily—if not moment-to-moment—task in the health industry, getting HIV/AIDS certification is one of the most important thresholds for delivering high-quality standardized care. There are several different avenues for achieving certification for your particular healthcare role through a variety of organizations. 

HIV/AIDS Nursing Certification Board

The HIV/AIDS Nursing Certification Board (HANCB) and the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC) encourage anyone involved in the care of people with diagnosed HIV/AIDS or those at risk to pursue certification. With three certification options, HANCB certifications are available for LPNS and RNs, each with their own eligibility requirements:

  • HIV/AIDS Certified LPN/LVN (ACLPN)
  • HIV/AIDS Certified Registered Nurse (ACRN)
  • Advanced HIV/AIDS Certified Registered Nurse (AACRN)

The certifications offered by the HIV/AIDS Nursing Certification Board (HANCB) no longer require passing an in-person exam as of 2021 and now require a series of self-paced online learning modules created using the National HIV Curriculum.

American Academy of HIV Medicine

The American Academy of HIV Medicine is focused on offering professional certifications domestically and internationally to physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and pharmacists who specialize in HIV care. The American Academy of HIV Medicine has three options available depending on the professional’s role and work environment. 

  • HIV Specialist (AAHIVS) credential for practicing frontline clinical providers
  • HIV Expert (AAHIVE) designation can be earned by non-practicing clinicians
  • HIV Pharmacist (AAHIVP) certification is available to eligible HIV-specialized pharmacists

The certifications offered by the American Academy of HIV Medicine can be taken in person or online, but only during specific testing cycles throughout the year. If unsuccessful on the first attempt, the Academy allows one free retake of the exam within the same testing cycle.

HIV Clinical Fellowship

The HIV Clinical Fellowship program supports noninfectious disease physicians in gaining HIV clinical experience. By working with patient populations who have historically been vulnerable and underserved, the goal of this program is to increase the number of physicians providing evidence-based HIV care.

During the application process, preference will be given to physicians interested in pursuing training and working in the southern U.S. due to the greater need for HIV experts and the disproportionate incidence of HIV.

HIV/AIDS Training and CE

HIV/AIDS training and continuing education are separate from board certification. Although states like Kentucky, Washington, and Oklahoma have removed their requirement for licensed health professionals to take HIV/AIDS training, the vast majority of states still consider this to be an indispensable part of health and safety standards.

HIV/AIDS training may satisfy certain CE requirements for licensing or offer supplemental learning opportunities for people in pursuit of HIV/AIDS certification. The improvements in transmission rates and health outcomes are a testament to the value and power of training and CE coursework and the dramatic impact it can have on first-order healthcare challenges. 

Particularly with online services that deliver science-backed CE and automatically handle reporting for most states, it has never been faster or easier to disseminate mission-critical information to frontline workers across the healthcare landscape. 

HIV/AIDS continuing education is mandatory for a wide range of professionals in a variety of disciplines, such as:

  • Physicians
  • Physician assistants
  • Nursing aides
  • Licensed practical nurses
  • Registered nurses
  • Advanced practice nurses
  • Pharmacists
  • Medical researchers
  • Phlebotomists
  • Counselors
  • Social workers
  • Child life specialists
  • Department of Health employees
  • People working in testing centers

HIV/AIDS CE also reaches professionals outside of healthcare and social services, including cosmetologists, body art professionals, educators, and many other workers in industries who may come into contact with bloodborne pathogens

Support HIV/AIDS Certification For Healthcare Workers

Certification is a notable achievement offering an opportunity for a healthcare professional to showcase their expertise in their craft. More importantly, achieving certification elevates their knowledge and skills and ultimately benefits the patients they serve. 

Certification is not achievable or maintainable without participating in continuing education. On the topic of HIV and AIDS, Premiere is leading the way with coursework that both meets licensing requirements in a variety of fields and supports the HIV/AIDS certification process. HIV/AIDS Training for Healthcare Professionals 1HR by Amy Adkins-Dwivedi MS, APRN is a foundational course offering a comprehensive overview of information involving HIV/AIDS, including HIV/AIDS etiology and epidemiology, transmission, testing and counseling, and clinical manifestations and treatment.

All courses by Premiere are created by leading industry professionals and make developing your skills and practice as simple as turning on a screen. 

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