HIV Training and Education

AIDS Education Program

Each training activity is designed to present the most current, cutting-edge information on the management of HIV-infected patients and interventions to prevent high-risk behavior. Training topics include central nervous system (CNS) impairment, neuropsychiatric disorders and/or psychiatric complications, HIV-1-associated dementia complex, HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders, asymptomatic neurocognitive impairment, CNS opportunistic infections, HIV-associated mania, delirium, depression, anxiety, sexual disorders, psychosis, pain, sleep disorders, neuroinflammation, psychopharmacology, and comorbidity. Faculty are recognized clinical-care experts and include psychiatrists and other medical specialties. To date, the AIDS Education Program has trained over 37,000 clinicians.


Video Presentations

These video presentations provide psychiatrists and other mental health practitioners with an overview of some of the psychiatric disorders commonly found in patients with HIV and AIDS. Treating these comorbidities is critical to promoting antiretroviral medication adherence, assuring secondary prevention, and improving patients’ quality of life.

HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HAND)
Stephen J. Ferrando, M.D.
Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center

Mood Disorders in HIV
Lawrence McGlynn, M.D.
Clinical Associate Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine

Psychosis and HIV
Francine Cournos, M.D.
Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center

HIV and Anxiety Disorders
Mary Ann Cohen, M.D.
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Sleep Disorders and HIV
Mary Alice O’Dowd, M.D.
Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine


12 Cities Project

Funded through a supplemental award from the Center for Mental Health Services, the 12 Cities Project focuses on expanding community-based training on HIV and behavioral health by targeting American areas with the highest incidence of HIV—New York, Philadelphia, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Juan, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. Pursuant to the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, it is critical that providers working in settings that orchestrate HIV treatment and/or implement HIV prevention efforts be aware of the close association between mental health and HIV disease. A failure to address these conditions together with HIV may result in a missed opportunity for effective disease management and prevention.

Working in close collaboration with the American Psychological Association, the National Association of Social Workers, and the Minority AIDS Initiative-Targeted Capacity Expansion projects, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) supports mental health training activities in those 12 cities. Training length and topics will vary with the needs of individual communities and the clinicians who serve them. All trainings are provided at no cost. Schedule a training in your area here.


Medical Student Electives

The Medical Student Elective in HIV Psychiatry was established in 2004 to provide an opportunity for fourth-year medical students to participate in a month-long clinical or research elective in HIV psychiatry at one of several prominent universities. This program was created to foster the participation of medical students (particularly racial and ethnic minorities) in HIV-related care and research and provide them with a means of obtaining essential HIV-related mental health training through an integrated approach to patient care.

The elective begins with an intensive, one and a half day training in Washington, D.C. Topics range from neuropsychiatric complications of HIV, somatic complaints, and mood disorders to special patient populations including people with substance use disorders and/or those suffering from severe mental illnesses. Training modalities include a combination of lectures, role playing, case vignettes and simulations, open discussion and first-person accounts through interviews with HIV-positive people. Students then travel to their assigned sites and begin a month-long clinical and/or research experience. The typical clinical program includes clinical supervision; a minimum of 12 hours of clinical experience per week (inpatient and outpatient); community-based outreach; time with a nonpsychiatric provider; and an independent study project. Participating sites have included Harvard University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Stanford University, Howard University, Beth-Israel Medical Center, and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Tentative dates for 2015’s program are August 29 to September 30.

The heart of the program is in establishing a mentor relationship at one of several training sites, becoming involved with a cohort of medical students interested in HIV medicine/psychiatry, participating in an interactive didactic/experiential learning program, and moving students toward high achievement in the area of HIV-related mental health research or psychiatric services. Mentors stay in touch with students over time, offering guidance as they progress in their careers. Students are selected through a competitive process and receive a stipend. The application process for the 2015 elective has been closed.


Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part B Mental Health Services (New York)

Funded through subcontractor agreement with the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, issued in part by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part B Mental Health Services award, the project provides training to clinicians throughout the state of New York, including the cities or areas of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Binghamton, Albany, mid-Hudson, lower Hudson, Nassau-Suffolk, and New York City. Trainings provided under this initiative include HIV psychiatric consultation (e.g., in-person, video/telephone, or telemedicine assistance to providers) for agencies and individual practitioners; training and professional development, including HIV-related mental health update, interactive skills building, and case-based workshops; and community education, including trainings and technical assistance for community-based agencies and/or consumer forums.


Locate a Trainer in Your Area

APA’s Office of HIV Psychiatry works with a network of qualified trainers located in 25 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Our faculty includes experts in a variety of psychiatric specialties who are well versed in a number of topics, including HIV-1 associated dementia complex, HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders, asymptomatic neurocognitive impairment, mood disorders, severely mentally ill, sexual dysfunction, pain syndromes, psychopharmacology, dysmorphic syndrome, HIV–Hepatitis C Virus co-infection, and triple diagnosis. Our staff will assist you in identifying the most appropriate trainer for your needs.

If you wish to locate a trainer, please email


Join Our Training Network

To participate in our training community of over 200 faculty throughout the country and around the world, we invite you to join us in our mission to educate psychiatrists and other health and mental health clinicians on the management and prevention of AIDS and HIV disease. Not a trainer? We welcome your participation as a consultant as we work to develop curriculum, state-the-science resources, and policy recommendations.

If you are interested in joining our efforts, please email