Continuing Education in HIV/AIDS Psychology: Options & Requirements

It is possible to find continuing education courses related to HIV/AIDS psychology through the APA and through several colleges and universities.

Why Take HIV/AIDS Psychology Continuing Education Classes

Continuing education training is a licensure renewal requirement for many behavioral health professionals. HIV/AIDS training isn't always necessary for licensure renewal, though it's typically an acceptable option. Continuing education in HIV/AIDS psychology may also be beneficial for caretakers of HIV/AIDS patients.

American Psychological Association Options

Behavioral professionals and others interested in earning continuing education units in HIV/AIDS can choose from workshops offered by the American Psychological Association's HIV Office for Psychology Education (HOPE). These workshops can be taken in person or online via webcasts. APA workshops focus on topics such as:

  • HIV-related counseling
  • Ethics
  • Bereavement
  • Cutting-edge HIV research
  • Role of substance abuse in HIV/AIDs transmission
  • Effects of mental health problems on HIV-positive patients
  • Holistic care for HIV/AIDs patients

Workshop attendees also learn to assess their own opinions and beliefs about the disease as well as the people infected with it. The workshop curriculum may be used by:

  • Association conferences
  • National conventions
  • Medical centers
  • Graduate school programs
  • Mental health clinics
  • Juvenile care facilities
  • Hospices

College and University Options

Colleges and universities also offer workshops in HIV/AIDS psychology. Some workshops are approved by the APA, and they might be available to the community as a whole, in addition to students. Topics covered in the workshops might include:

  • Substance abuse clients
  • Needs of family members and caretakers
  • Ethics
  • Mental health considerations for HIV/AIDS patients

Continuing Education Requirements

Professionals requiring continuing education credits who may benefit from continuing education classes in HIV/AIDs Psychology include:

  • Licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs)
  • Marriage and family therapists (MFTs)
  • Psychologists
  • Counselors
  • Psychiatrists

State psychology boards as well as some state health departments regulate requirements for these professionals. For example, the state of Washington's health department requires 36 hours of courses in relevant topics for renewing a license in social work, along with courses in ethics and professional law. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences requires LCSWs and MFTs to complete a one-time, 7-hour continuing education course during the initial renewal period. It covers a variety of topics, such as the characteristics of HIV/AIDS patients and HIV/AIDS assessment and treatment techniques.

Professionals in the field of behavioral health and others who are interested in HIV/AIDS can find courses covering psychological aspects of the condition through the APA and through postsecondary institutions.

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