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    DSHS HIV/STD Program

    Post Office Box 149347, MC 1873
    Austin, Texas 78714

    Phone: (512) 533-3000

    DSHS strives to respond to all email requests in a timely manner. It is important to note, however, that messages that you send to us by email may not be secure and may be intercepted by a third party. Therefore, we recommend that you do not send any confidential health information to us by email.

HIV-STD Training Courses

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The HIV/STD Training Team offers a variety of training courses and modules to improve the skills of persons involved in HIV/STD prevention and intervention in Texas.

Courses Available:

See the training schedule for upcoming courses in your area.

On-line Courses:


Course Descriptions

Anti-Retroviral Treatment and Access to Services (ARTAS) Training of Facilitators - This three-day workshop provides participants with the knowledge, skills, and practice to successfully facilitate the ARTAS intervention. ARTAS is an individual-level, multi-session, time-limited intervention to link individuals who have been recently diagnosed with HIV to medical care. ARTAS is based on the Strengths-based Case Management (SBCM) model, which is rooted in Social Cognitive Theory (particularly self-efficacy) and Humanistic Psychology. This class is provided by 3T-UTSW. No prerequisites.

CLEAR: Choosing Life! Empowerment! Action! Results! - This four-day course provides counselors with the knowledge, skills, and practice needed to successfully implement CLEAR, an individual level intervention with core and optional sessions, to fully address many areas of risk behavior in the client's life. CLEAR is intended for persons age 16 and above who are either living with HIV/AIDS or have behaviors that put them at high risk for HIV infection. This intervention can be a stand-alone program or it can be incorporated into an existing Comprehensive Risk Counseling and Services program as the risk reduction counseling portion.

Comprehensive Risk Counseling and Services (CRCS): An Intensive Individual-Level Intervention - This intensive three-day workshop provides trainees the knowledge, skills, and practice to successfully implement a Comprehensive Risk Counseling and Services (CRCS) program in their community. Using interactive group exercises, role plays, games, and case studies, trainees will explore the relationship between Ryan White Case Management and CRCS, conduct risk assessments, practice applying core counseling skills, and use implementation tools to develop risk reduction plans. This course is not intended to teach counseling skills, but to provide a framework for implementing CRCS. This class is provided by the Technology Transfer Team (3T) at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Couples HIV Testing and Counseling (CHTC) - This intervention comes from the CDC and trains how to counsel couples who wish to be tested and receive results together and is a permissible enhancement to DSHS funded HIV testing services for appropriately screened clients. You will have the opportunity to learn about the CHTC protocol in this training. This course builds on the existing skills of individual HIV testing and counseling providers, and equips them with the skills to conduct CHTC services following the CHTC protocol. CHTC occurs when two or more persons who are in - or are planning to be in - a sexual relationship, receive all elements of HIV testing and counseling together in order to facilitate disclosure of results between partners and develop a prevention plan that is specific to the couple, their relationship, and their serostatus. Participants in this training course will learn communication skills for working with couples, will practice skills for easing tension and diffusing blame, and will learn how to address risk issues using abstract language and with a focus on the present and the future. Participants will also learn how to talk about HIV discordance (when one partner is HIV positive and one partner is HIV negative), and will practice delivering a CHTC session via role plays and interactive exercises. Prior to attending the 2-day in-person training, participants will be expected to complete a 2.5 hour pre-training e-learning module.

Ethics of Risk and Harm Reduction - This seven-hour training will begin with a didactic presentation of information about harm and risk reduction related to substance abuse and sexual behavior. It will also feature a panel consisting of clients from the surrounding area sharing their experiences with service providers in order to inform them of service delivery. During this course, participants will identify the continuum of risk related to substance use and sexual behavior. Participants will also differentiate between harm and risk reduction strategies in theory and in practice. The course will also examine the legal and ethical issues related to harm reduction. In addition, participants will apply client and community-centered principles and strategies to help those at risk. Finally, participants will consider how to enhance services after hearing feedback directly from clients from within the community.

Foundations of HIV Counseling and Testing (FCT) - This three day course will be the new required standard for all new DSHS HIV Prevention counseling/testing staff and new testing and linkage supervisors unfamiliar with PBC/FCT. The goal of FCT is to improve the ability of HIV prevention staff to provide HIV testing, counseling, and linkage to care. The course covers DSHS standards for giving test results and linkage to care for the HIV+ client. It was developed to help participants understand the range of counseling encounters and to determine how to best serve each individual client. This course focuses extensively on communication and counseling skills to help risk the reduction specialist (RRS) apply behavior change theory and techniques that can support individual clients in reducing their risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV/STD/HCV. The PBC protocol is used as a tool to guide the discussion with the client about his/her risk(s) as well as the testing process, delivering results and linkage to care for the HIV+ client. Participants will have time to role-play using the protocol to ensure a reasonable comfort level before counseling with clients when counseling is required. Participants will need to have the technical information (immune system, epidemiology, etc) prior to attending this course. The on-line STD Facts and Fallacies - HIV module and the Foundations Pre-course provide this information. Prerequisites: Completion of STD Facts and Fallacies - HIV module and Foundations Pre-course. Registration for FCT is available through the TRAIN Texas system. Course ID: 1032883 Registration Code: 99999

Fundamentals of Sexually Transmitted Disease Intervention (Fund of ISTDI) - This 5-day course is designed for counselors, managers of staff who conduct partner services, public health nurses, or other prevention workers who need comprehensive partner service skills. Focusing on gonorrhea and chlamydia, this class will cover interview periods, communication, assertiveness, problem solving, the STD interview format, field investigations, partner notification and referral, and a brief overview of case management. This course does not provide in-depth syphilis case management or visual case analysis. Prerequisite: successful completion of selected portions of the CDC "2006 Employee Development Guide."

Gender and Sexual Diversity (GSD) - GSD is a cultural competency training. It is a day-long training seminar on competently serving members of the gender and sexually diverse community. Participants will learn how to: identify differences between sexual orientation and gender identity, share info among providers on trends observed in GSD populations, practice counseling skills and culturally competent care, and examine impact of stigma on health of GSD populations.

Mastering Visual Case Analysis (VCA) - This half-day workshop is designed for Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS) and associated staff that supervise and/or manage Partner Services activities related to syphilis. Participants will review the basic concepts and the epidemiological basis for Visual Case Analysis (VCA). Participants will have the opportunity to practice plotting multiple case studies to build skills and understanding of how this tool helps them focus disease intervention efforts.

Motivational Interviewing 101 - By the end of this course, participants will be able to define Motivational Interviewing, describe the stages of change and how they relate to Motivational Interviewing, list and describe the principles underlying MI, and list and implement the five early strategies of Motivational Interviewing while demonstrating reflective listening techniques. Credit Hours: 8 Alcohol & Drug Specific. Maximum participants: 35.

Motivational Interviewing 201 - By the end of this course, participants will be able to engage with clients to receive information about their personal lives, including dilemmas and values related to behavior change. MI 201 will give participants tools to focus clients on changes they are willing to explore. They will develop skills on how to elicit client motivation through the exploration of ambivalence. Participants will learn how to help clients make a plan to determine goals and carry out any beneficial enhancement of change talk. Participants by the end of MI 201 will be able to demonstrate the four processes of Motivational Interviewing. Credit Hours: 8 Alcohol & Drug Specific. Prerequisite: successful completion of the course Motivational Interviewing 101.

Personalized Cognitive Counseling (PCC) - PCC is an individual-level, single session counseling intervention designed to reduce unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) among men who have sex with men (MSM) who are repeat testers for HIV. PCC focuses on the person's self-justifications (thoughts, attitudes and beliefs) he uses when deciding whether or not to engage in high risk sexual behavior. PCC is a 30 to 50 minutes intervention conducted as a component of Counseling, Testing, and Referral Service (CTRS) for MSM who meet the screening criteria. PCC targets MSM who previously tested for HIV, are HIV-negative, and had UAI since their last test with a male who was not their primary partner, and that partner's serostatus was positive or unknown.

Presentation and Facilitation Skills - This three-day course focuses on developing the skills necessary to present information and/or to facilitate a group or class. If you are facilitating evidence-based intervention groups, leading workshops, or presenting educational sessions to the community, this course is for you. You will receive tips and techniques on how to be more effective when you speak or facilitate a group. You will learn:

  • How to select an instructional strategy
  • The basics of presentation skills
  • How to use and design visual aids
  • How to develop a simple lesson plan
  • Key elements from adult learning theory
  • The basics of group facilitation skills
  • Tips for effectively conducting a guided group discussion
  • Classroom/group management techniques

You will practice using the new skills by delivering a short presentation. This class will also provide the opportunity for you to take home a recorded copy of your presentation for your personal review. Registration for this course is available through the TRAIN Texas system. Course ID: 1017761 Registration Code: 99999 *Please be advised that the nature of this course may involve discussions about sexual content, STD's, HIV and reproductive health.

Using Social Networks: A Recruitment Strategy for Counseling, Testing and Referral Services (SNS) - Using Social Networks provides a comprehensive understanding of how to utilize social networks as a recruitment strategy for counseling, testing and referral services in order to reach people with undiagnosed HIV infection in high-risk persons and hard-to-reach communities. The target audience for this course are key decision makers of an organization. We strongly encourage a group of 2-3 people from a single agency come together to participate in this training. This will support an agency’s ability to begin developing a plan for implementing this strategy.

Online Courses

Bridging Theory and Practice - This on-line course covers basic behavioral science theories and how the theories can be translated and adapted into interventions. Interventions at all levels of the Socio-ecological model to address the needs of the community will be discussed. This course is currently being revised and is unavailable. Watch for announcements when the course is complete.

d-up: Defend Yourself! - A culturally-specific community-level intervention to increase the safer sex practices of Black gay men. The online Training of Facilitators allows you to bring d-up! to your community. The course is self-paced, employs engaging videos with fun, interactive features, and includes activity and homework in your community. The free online course is available on effectiveinterventions.org.

Expedited Partner Services: The New Standard of Care for Treating Sexually Transmitted Diseases - This course covers the rationale, background and mechanics of Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT). The course covers Texas Medical board changes, Pharmacy Board opinion as well as extensive research illustrating that EPT is a useful tool in the fight against chlamydia and gonorrhea in heterosexual sex partners. The course takes approximately 1 hour to complete.

CMEs, CNEs and continuing education credits for Social Workers and Certified Health Education Specialists are offered for this course. In order to earn Continuing Education credits, learners must:

  • complete the online course
  • successfully pass the post test
  • complete the course evaluation

The online course is available through the TRAIN Texas system.

Foundations of HIV Counseling and Testing Update - This 75-minute webinar is an update for managers and staff who are familiar with PBC but need to become acquainted with the changes that the new FCT course has implemented. The webinar provides a brief overview of the course without having to attend FCT training. This recorded webinar is an opportunity to get questions answered about the changes in the course and in counseling and testing requirements. The following topics are covered:

  • Differences between FCT and PBC
  • The FCT continuum of care
  • Linkage to care - policy for follow-up procedure
  • Q&A from July 25, 2012

The webinar can be found on the Cardea website.

Foundations Pre-Course - This course is a required pre-requisite to attend the Foundations of HIV Counseling and Testing Course (FCT). This online course is self-paced and focuses on key skills and topics that will provide necessary background knowledge before attending the face-to-face course. Topics include:

  • History of the Intervention
  • Stages of Change
  • SMART Steps
  • Ethics and Confidentiality
  • Assertive Communication
  • The Protocol
  • Delivering Positive HCV Results (optional)

This course is designed for participants attending the Foundations of HIV Counseling and Testing (FCT) course. Completion of the Foundations Pre-Course is required at least 3 business days prior to the start of the FCT course. Completion of the course requires completion of all available units and the final survey. Persons who do not finish the available units of the Pre-Course risk not getting a certificate of completion for FCT. Participants completing the Pre-Course as a job requirement should print a certificate for their employee file. The course may take up to 4.5 hours to complete. There are five required units and one optional unit (Hep C Results). Participants should plan to spend up to 1.5 hours per unit.

The online course is available through the TRAIN Texas system.

HIV Case Management 101: A Foundation - This course provides an overview for case managers to serve their clients effectively. Case managers will gain practical knowledge about the HIV infection, learn how drugs treat the virus, and understand antiretroviral therapy guidelines. The course also covers funding and planning for client services as well as available support services. Case managers will learn about the variety of services available and what case managers are expected to do for clients. At the end of the training, case managers will understand the disease and have the critical thinking skills required to meet their clients' needs. The online course is available through the TRAIN Texas system. Part B funded case managers are required to complete this training with a 70% score within six (6) months of hire.

Implementing Routine HIV Testing in Health Care Settings - Implementing Routine HIV Testing in Texas is a one hour course designed to facilitate the practice of routine HIV testing in Texas. The course contains timely data and resources for health care providers interested in implementing routine HIV testing in Texas. The course is designed for health care professionals implementing routine HIV testing as well as those with a general interest in the topic.

The online course is available through the TRAIN Texas system.

Perinatal HIV Prevention - This is a one-hour course covering the guidelines and rules for HIV testing in pregnant women in Texas. The course covers the reduction in transmission rates for HIV+ pregnant women who receive treatment at the first prenatal visit, during labor and delivery and women who do not receive treatment. The course also provides resources for health care professionals with questions about treatment or guidelines. The online course is available through the TRAIN Texas system.

Quality Assurance for Counseling and Testing - This course is for supervisors and staff providing quality assurance for agencies implementing counseling and testing in Texas. Areas explored in this training include performing staff observations and giving feedback, implementing protocol-based counseling, and conducting chart reviews. It is required for supervisors of DSHS-funded agencies implementing HIV counseling and testing; it is recommended for supervisors of any agency that is implementing HIV counseling and testing. Prerequisite: Foundations of Counseling and Testing training (3 days plus pre-requisites). The online course is available through the TRAIN Texas system.

STD Facts and Fallacies - Facts and Fallacies is an on-line modular course for health professionals who interact with client populations at risk for HIV, STDs. This course is designed primarily for public health professionals including, but not limited to Risk Reduction Specialists, Community Health Workers, Case Managers and Substance Abuse Counselors. Module I consists of Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease). Module 2 focuses on Syphilis. Module 3 focuses on HIV/AIDS. The modules center on the transmission, course of infection, symptoms, complications and cures or treatments of each infection.

The online course is available through the TRAIN Texas system. No prerequisites.

  • Chlamydia, Gonorrhea & Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) - Module
  • Syphilis - Module
  • HIV - Module

Texas HIV Medication Program 101 - This training teaches case managers how to serve clients effectively by referring HIV clients to appropriate resources, decreasing errors and omissions on THMP application forms, and helping HIV clients with the recertification process. The online course is available through the TRAIN Texas system.


Last updated November 17, 2014