As HIV treatment shifts into primary care, it is important to educate NPs on HIV care and prevention in order to maintain recent gains towards ending the HIV epidemic.
The HIV landscape has changed significantly since the condition was first identified in the 80s.
Today, HIV is a manageable condition thanks to the successes of modern antiretroviral therapy. As people with HIV are now living longer, there is now a population of older adults with the condition and other chronic comorbid conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.
These circumstances, along with pre-exposure prophylaxis and post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention, has shifted caring for patients with HIV from a specialist setting to a primary care setting. With this shift, as HIV providers age and retire, the number of clinicians who are trained to treat HIV and comorbid conditions will fall below the number of providers needed to care for this patient population.
However, a poster, presented by a representative from the University of California, San Francisco, at the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care Conference (ANAC 2019) discussed how nurse practitioners (NPs) can assume a larger role in HIV care. The presentation discussed how NPs can play a key role in maintaining recent gains in the fight to end the HIV epidemic and also featured a curricular design strategy for nursing HIV education.
According to the abstract, the University of San Francisco School of Nursing has implemented the National HIV Curriculum into education models, which has provided a “flipped classroom” approach to accommodate students. Through this approach, the students complete online learning that is self-paced throughout a term and meet in person to apply their knowledge in an interactive setting led by experts in the HIV field.
In addition to accommodating busy student schedules, this format also cuts back on faculty workload associated with updating content. The author also noted that the integration has provided curricular standardization.
“Integrating the NHC is a free, convenient strategy that other NP programs can replicate to ensure their graduates are prepared to meet the HIV and viral hepatitis needs of the populations they will serve,” the author wrote.
As NPs are contributing to the most growth in the workforce of primary care and as HIV treatment is moving toward primary care settings, integrating the National HIV Curriculum into HIV courses can help bolster the number of clinicians who are prepared and educated to treat HIV and comorbid conditions.
The abstract, “Innovative Curricular Design Utilizing the National HIV Curriculum,” was presented in a poster presentation on Thursday, November 7, at ANAC 2019 in Portland, Oregon.