This training resource uses 8 work units. The format is very simple.

It is written for people who do not have a scientific background or medical training.

  • Some of the sessions are very short, and have simple questions. This is so that anyone can start learning about treatment, and in turn pass that information on to others.
  • The material has been written in a way that makes it easier for you to then explain the information again to other people without a medical background.
  • Understanding and completing this course will give a good grasp of 90% of the issues involved in HIV and treatment.
  • You do not need to know everything about each area in detail, and it will be too much to deal with if you try to learn everything straight away.
  • The aim for each section is to provide a general understanding for each area. This will form the structure for more advanced training and your own research in the future.
  • Most people don’t want to know about science – they just want to get on with their lives. But you will need to know about some of the science behind how things work if you are to trust in things that are too small to see with your own eyes. We can’t see a virus, or a CD4 cell or any of the things that are tested in blood with the naked eye. We can’t see whether one pill or another will work better or at all.
  • The knowledge in this manual is a powerful tool for understanding treatment and getting better care for your own or other people’s HIV.

This course is written by treatment advocates who have had no formal medical training and who are mostly HIV-positive – and we’ve tried to remember the biggest surprises that we found as we developed our own treatment knowledge.

This resource is part of a copyright-free project that is available on the i-Base website to download in various formats, or to work online. As with other treatment information produced by i-Base we encourage translations into other languages.

Last updated: 23 January 2009.