HIV, or the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Disease Syndrome) or Stage 3 has been a concern for Nevada since 1982, when the first 3 cases were diagnosed. One of whom passed away that same year. By 2019, there was a total of 506 new HIV diagnoses among the 11,769 Nevada residents living with HIV. Nevada’s reached the highest number of deaths in 1995 with 381 deaths and since then, the number had been steadily decreasing. While testing, treatment and care for people living with HIV (PLWH) has dramatically changed over the past 30 years, Nevada as a state still has a lot to do.
Currently, efforts are being made to end the HIV pandemic as we know it through a federal initiative called Ending the Epidemic: A Plan for America (EHE).The key pillars of this effort diagnose, treat, prevent, and respond. By enrolling and completing this training, you will learn (or enhance) the knowledge and skills needed to perform rapid HIV tests for your community, thus helping individuals learn their HIV status, access care and treatment, as well as prevent the spread of new cases of HIV.
Additionally, in order to accomplish the goals of EHE, the HIV workforce in Nevada needs to be expanded to not only include licensed medical and allied health providers (e.g. mental health care providers, psychiatrists, registered dietitians that are HIV focused, community health workers, dentists and dental hygienists who have received HIV training, peer navigators, certified nurse case managers, medical case managers, paraprofessionals, counselors, and social workers) but other professional and peer support who can help PLWH access and stay in care including substance use treatment centers, social and behavioral health providers, transportation, housing and financial assistance. By taking this training, you will become part of the network who will help Nevada reach its EHE goals.
The Empower Change Testing & Counseling Training Program for Rapid HIV Testing Certification Course is a free, combination ( or hybrid) on-line/face to face training course which will prepare participants, both experienced and new, with the skills, techniques and knowledge related to offer rapid HIV testing and counseling services within community based organizations.
During this training course, information related to blood borne pathogens and HIV epidemiology; basic knowledge about HIV and its acquisition and transmission; recommendations for HIV prevention including PEP, PrEP, and barrier methods and TASP (or Treatment as Prevention); various social and behavioral resources available to HIV (+/-) clients and the community; proper HIV testing technique and mechanisms for HIV test results reporting; and communication including active listening and observational practices to not only build rapport with clients, but keep HIV Rapid Counselors safe, and other critical topics will be covered to ensure comprehensive understanding of HIV, HIV prevention, and linkage to care in Nevada.
The online component of this training includes 5 modules:
In order to complete the course, these elements of the training must be completed and passed with at least a 70% in order to proceed to the face to face part of the training. For those who wish to increase or enhance their knowledge and HIV rapid testing skills, the online part of the training can be audited and upon completion, a certificate will be generated.
The face to face component of the training is 2 days and the dates, locations, and any other important information for the training will be posted on this website.Getting Started
Prepare and conduct HIV Rapid Test Technology
Conduct Risk Assessment
Develop prevention and care plan
Provide HIV Results
Linkage to care
The Southern Nevada Health District is committed to an inclusive learning environment ensuring digital accessibility for people with disabilities. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and applying the relevant accessibility standards.