amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Internet-Based AIDS Training Program Wraps Up Pilot in Pune, India


October 2006—An online, interactive program to train health-care professionals on the management of HIV/AIDS concluded with a three-day seminar at the Ruby Hall Clinic in Pune, India, 12–14 March. Organized by TREAT Asia, the Ruby Hall Clinic, and HIVeDUCATION, an organization that provides Internet-based HIV/AIDS training, the pilot program provided a series of comprehensive training modules to 21 medical professionals—members of seven medical teams based in seven cities across India.

Internet training
The training program concluded with a three-day seminar at the Ruby Hall Clinic in Pune. (Photo: Ruby Hall Clinic)

The 12-part online training offered a “new way of learning for physicians who are used to hands-on learning in a clinical setting,” said Sanjay Pujari, M.D., director of Ruby Hall’s HIV/AIDS program. The program was structured so that participants could delve into each of the 12 modules at their convenience, he said. Students were required to take both pre- and post-tests to measure their progress, but they were allowed to repeat any unit if they needed further study.

Although the online training program was “expensive per participant,” indicated Dr. Pujari, participants found it useful. A student satisfaction survey cited the counseling module in particular for improving their ability to advise patients on adherence. Participants indicated that the program’s greatest impact had been on their knowledge and understanding of resistance monitoring and adherence.

The curriculum focused on computer-based self-study modules. Of the participants who began the program, only one team of three students did not complete the course. The program was funded in part by a grant from Stichting AIDS Fonds of the Netherlands.