“The Links”  Testing and Linkage to Care webinar courses provide training for clinical staff and providers to develop new skills and professional competencies to optimize the quality of care for people newly diagnosed with HIV or who are re-engaging in care. 

This series addresses the current state of the HIV care continuum in the state of Maryland and provides a strategic initiative for identifying and addressing gaps of service in the care continuum and how to address them. 

It also addresses the core competencies in HIV management from initial diagnosis and regimen selection to implementing strategies ensuring patient adherence. Furthermore, it helps with skills to improve communication within the clinical setting and ensures training on health literacy and beliefs, improving patient-provider communication, coordinating care for individuals living with HIV, and addressing barriers to care with the patient. Re-engagement and retention will examine evidence-based approaches for innovative linkage to care and engagement strategies and present programs in Maryland that address these challenges as well as how technology can play a role in addressing medication adherence. 

Overarching Series Learning Objectives:

  • Define the HIV care continuum and the implications for individual health

  • Employ evidence-based techniques to foster open patient-provider communication

  • Identify innovative linkage to care strategies for improved access to care, including, retention and engagement in care

  • Enhance capacity of providers and health care staff to initiate effective strategies with patients to increase progress toward Maryland Ending the HIV Epidemic goals.

Welcome to Link 1 "HIV in Maryland: Epidemiology, Intersectionality, Engagement, & Equity".

**This course is no longer offering CE credits.**

Welcome to Link 2 "Core Skills for HIV Management"!

Although all adolescents and adults aged 15 to 65 years should be screened for HIV, a number of factors may increase an individual’s chance of acquiring HIV. This webinar will provide an overview of strategies and appropriate patients to screen for HIV and how appropriately timed interventions in people who have received an HIV diagnosis can reduce the risks of clinical progression, complications, and transmission. This includes identifying evidence-based interventions such as antiretroviral therapies (ART) and regimens that have been proven to reduce risks by addressing barriers to care. 

**This course is no longer offering CE credits.**

Welcome to Link 3 "Enhancing Culturally Appropriate Communication: Patient-Provider Interventions"!

This webinar describes the key factors that play a role when communicating with customers and patients, discusses the role of culture and health literacy, and looks at how stigma, discrimination, and bias can interfere with the implementation of equitable communication strategies.

**This course is no longer offering CE credits.**

Welcome to Link 4 "Retention and Re-Engagement in HIV Care"!

Linking or re-engaging and retaining people living with HIV (PLWH) in ongoing, primary care is vital for ending the HIV epidemic and ensuring a full, healthy lifespan for the greater than one million PLWH in the US. However, 41–44% of individuals living with HIV are not accessing regular, ongoing HIV care, and the epidemic disproportionately affects some demographic subgroups. Changes in the HIV workforce and ways that HIV care is delivered increase the need for re-thinking practice models and provision of training and education, including cultural competency to better serve clients based on their race/ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, or socio-economic backgrounds. Collaboration between health department units, collaboration between the health department and external stakeholders, and creation of new partnerships are essential for establishing and sustaining a coordinated referral system, identifying and filling service gaps, and avoiding duplication. Additionally, updated data systems are necessary to facilitate the movement of PLWH through the continuum of care steps.

**This course is no longer offering CE credits.**