AIDS Education Training Center

Parkland provides primary care physicians with education, training for HIV care

When Zulma Toledo, MD from the Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation found herself with numerous HIV patients after another physician left the organization, she knew she needed support. She found that support through the South Central AIDS Education Training Center (AETC) at Parkland.

“HIV care can get really complex,” said Arti Barnes, MD, MPH, clinical director for the South Central AETC. “There is a tremendous amount of research to keep up with every day, and the delivery of the care can be quite complex.”

The center provides free HIV education to healthcare providers in a five-state region: Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico and Arkansas. The mission of the South Central AETC is to improve the quality of life of persons living with or at-risk of HIV through the provision of high-quality professional education and training. From one-on-one consultations to large seminars, the center coordinates a wide range of educational opportunities.

Dr. Toledo is one of the physicians that Dr. Barnes mentors regarding caring for patients with HIV. They communicate via text, email, phone and videoconference, as the Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation is in Corpus Christi, Texas.

“Our goal is to have primary care providers comfortable in providing HIV care so that people in small towns don’t have to travel several hours to access an HIV specialist,” said Dr. Barnes, who also works in Parkand’s HIV Clinic as a faculty member for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. “We want to increase the number of clinicians who are comfortable taking care of HIV patients so that both the patients and their communities will benefit.”

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