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

  • Sections 1-6 introduce the most important aspects of treatment to a basic standard: the immune system, CD4 count, viral load, natural history of HIV, combination therapy treatment, side effects, opportunistic infections, and HIV and pregnancy.
  • Section 7 introduces HIV treatment for injecting drug users: model of comprehensive care, validity and reliability of treatment, drug interactions with methadone and street drugs.
  • Section 8 introduces basic concepts from research: types of research, safety, participation, and why research is important, advocates’ role in clinical trials.
  • 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.
  • Understanding and completing this course will enable a good grasp of 90% of the issues involved in HIV and treatment.
  • It is intended that this course material will be supplemented with resources and activities that you judge are appropriate to your group and locality.
  • This course is written for people who do not have a scientific background or medical training.
  • Some of the modules 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.

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.