Know Your Viral Load – Free Online Course

Is your HIV treatment working? You have the right to know!

A viral load test is the only sure way to know if your treatment is working.

This course has now finished. Sign up for the ’Be Healthy – Know Your Viral Load’ newsletter to find out about the next online course.

Whether you are living with HIV or working in the field, this short online course will inform you about the importance of routine viral load testing. You will also learn how to mobilize your community to demand routine viral load tests.

You are Invited

Applications are invited for the online training course ‘Be Healthy – Know Your Viral Load’ (2016) led by the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA) and the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC). The course will inform you why routine viral load testing is critical to health, and how you can mobilize communities to demand the test. The course runs from 7 November to 9 December 2016.


Over the last two decades, treatment coverage has increased, in part, thanks to effective community treatment activism across the globe. Despite these gains, close to half of those in need of treatment still have no access to life-saving medicines. It is also not clear how many people on treatment have access to an essential component of successful treatment – routine viral load (RVL) testing.

As recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), routine viral load testing is the best way to know if your treatment is working. A test measures the amount of HIV in the blood.. The WHO recommends viral load monitoring six months after starting ART, at 12 months, and routinely every year thereafter.

At present, it is not known how well people living with HIV are doing on various regimens, how many are failing treatment and how many are (or should be) switching to other regimens. All these unknowns beg the question – what is the quality of treatment celebrated by improved treatment coverage?

Upon completing this course, participants will have an understanding of why it is important to monitor HIV treatment. Participants will have the knowledge and tools to urge their governments to make sure the tests are routinely available, accessible and affordable.


The aim of this online course is to:

  1. Increase participants’ understanding about the importance of monitoring HIV treatment and how this can be done;
  2. Provide participants with up-to-date information on the benefits of viral load testing for people living with HIV;
  3. Enhance participants’ knowledge and the skills needed to advocate for access to Routine Viral Load Testing (RVLT); and,
  4. Strengthen the capacity of activist groups to be able to demand access to viral load testing and encourage uptake among communities.




4 weeks of study 4 hours/week Language (English)


Certificate of Participation upon completion of the course


In the selection of participants, preference will be given to:

  1. People working in the area of the right to health, access to medicines, policy makers working on trade and development, human rights organisations (including NGOs and Government agencies), treatment providers and health professionals, HIV programme managers and people living with HIV and key populations most at risk of HIV.
  2. Are fluent in English;
  3. Are committed to participating fully in all the elements of the short course and an interest developing advocacy campaigns which focusing on increasing accessibility to, and coverage of viral load testing.
  4. Have daily access to the internet as well as access to a computer with the following specifications:
  • Operating System: Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, ME or XP; MacOS 9 or MacOS X
  • Hardware: minimum 128 Mbytes of RAM preferably 512 MB, 1GByte of free disk space.
  • Software: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel 2000 or higher Adobe Acrobat Reader 5 or higher.
  • Browser: Internet Explorer 5 or higher OR Netscape Navigator 5 or higher
  • Modem: 56 kbps minimum


Kindly send us the following:

  1. A one-page letter of motivation, setting out why you feel that you would benefit from participating in the short course, and outlining how you will use the skills acquired during the course in your own country;
  2. Your resume / CV;
  3. A letter of support from the organisation you are currently working with / affiliated to.


All applications must be received by no later than close of business on Monday, 31st October 2016. Kindly note that applications received after the closing date will not be considered. Application should be submitted by email to (and copy

This online course takes place from 7th November – 9th December 2016

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