What is CSTEP?
Is CSTEP free?
Is CSTEP for me?
How will I benefit from CSTEP?
Does CSTEP offer Continuing Education Units?
In which languages does CSTEP offer trainings?
Which CSTEP training is right for me?
Who operates CSTEP?

What is CSTEP?
People living with HIV/AIDS deserve to receive accurate and up-to-date treatment and benefits information from informed, competent, respectful, and compassionate service providers and peers.

The California Statewide Training & Education Program (CSTEP) helps make that vision a reality by providing a multi-tiered, high-impact training program. Conducted throughout California, CSTEP trainings deliver education, skills, and certificates for providers of HIV care and treatment.

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Is CSTEP free?
Yes. All trainings and materials will be provided to you by CSTEP, at no cost.

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Is CSTEP for me?
CSTEP is ideal for HIV providers who want to increase their HIV skills and knowledge. More than 750 providers have benefited from these trainings, including case managers, treatment advocates and educators, nurses, mental health counselors, peer advocates and other professionals who work with people living with HIV/AIDS on HIV and its treatment.

CSTEP sets the standard. CSTEP training content is comprehensive, relevant, and powerful. Many health departments and AIDS Service Organizations require all of their providers on staff to attend CSTEP trainings.

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How will I benefit from CSTEP?
It is the goal of CSTEP that participants are able to learn the fundamentals of HIV treatment, care, and benefits. In addition, participants will receive the latest developments on HIV/AIDS enabling them to provide better service to their clients as well as build and strengthen their networking opportunities.

Provide better client service: CSTEP identifies cultural challenges and outlines opportunities for providers to connect better with their clients, including those from different backgrounds.

Staying current: CSTEP courses are continually updated to address the changing field of HIV treatments and benefits.

Networking: In addition to enriching your own career, networks of contacts enable you to expand your web of information to learn from the best practices of your peers.

Proof of Completion: Participants who successfully complete an in-person CSTEP course will receive a Letter of Completion for their records. Certificates of Participation may be given upon request. All information will be sent via email within the body of the email or as an attachment. For questions, please email CSTEP at cstep@apiwellness.org.

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Does CSTEP offer Continuing Education Units (CEUs)?
Beginning October 1, 2013, there will be a $35.00 administrative fee in order for participants to receive Continuing Education Units (CEUs) per course. CSTEP provides Continuing Education Units (CEUs)* in collaboration with the San Francisco Area AIDS Education & Training Center (SFAETC) for the following disciplines:

Board of Behavioral Sciences

  • Associate Clinical Social Workers (ASW)
  • Marriage and Family Therapist Interns (IMF)
  • Professional Clinical Counselor Intern (PCCI)
  • Continuing Education Providers (PCE)
  • Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW)
  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT)
  • Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC)
  • Licensed Educational Psychologists (LEP)

Board of Registered Nursing

  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
  • Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Registered Nurse (RN)
  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
  • Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)
  • Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

Training courses will specifically state whether or not CEUs will be earned. Participants will be asked for further information at the time of the training in order to receive CEUs. For further questions, please contact CSTEP Training Coordinator, Myrnelle Dizon at 415.292.3420 x329 or via email at myrnelle@apiwellness.org.

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In which languages does CSTEP offer trainings?
Trainings are currently offered only in English.

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Which CSTEP training is right for me?
CSTEP has created different trainings.

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Benefits: Disability Income in California
The Basics of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and State Disability Insurance (SDI)

Audience: This introductory course is intended for providers who are:

  • Office of AIDS outreach and/or case management staff
  • working with clients living with HIV
  • have working knowledge of disability and public assistance eligibility, application and appeal requirements
  • understand the basic history of social welfare in the United States, including the development of our current health and welfare system and the establishment of the Ryan White CARE Act


  • To learn the basics of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and how to advocate for clients who are applying for these benefits.
  • To learn the basics of State Disability Insurance (SDI) application.

This one (1)-day course will cover the following:

  • The Social Security Administration's (SSA) definition of disability
  • Effects of income and resource on eligibility
  • Date Last Insured rule
  • Presumptive SSI for people with HIV
  • Social Security initial application and appeal process
  • How to properly document symptoms and functional limitations for clients
  • The effect of substance use on eligibility, submission of evidence, responding to consultative examinations, and how to advocate for clients under a harm reduction model
  • The basics of California’s Employment Development Department’s State Disability Insurance:
    The application process, filing period, methods to address gap between employment and onset of disability, good cause for late filing, client interviews for SDI purpose, base period, calculation of benefits, and choosing appropriate onset date of disability.

Please be advised that CSTEP is currently working on the Benefits curriculum for health care.

Benefit Plus: A Menu of Selected Courses on Public Benefits in California

Audience: These courses are intended for all providers working with clients living with HIV.

Participants will have a variety of one to two-hour web-based courses to choose from to enhance their learning experience. This will be an integral part of the training system as benefits programs are in constant flux and keeping up-to-date with these changes is crucial to providing optimum service. Courses will address specific benefits topic areas as the need is identified.

Topics may include:

  • AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP)
  • Benefits and Immigrant Populations
  • Health Care Reform
  • Back to Work Issues - State budget issues as they relate to current benefit issues

CSTEP is currently revising its Treatment curricula.

Treatment Expanded (formerly Treatment Certification): The HIV Life Cycle, Medication and Adherence

Audience: This course is intended for all providers working with clients living with HIV.

This course will explain the immune system fundamentals as they relate to HIV treatment, opportunistic infections, managing side effects, drug therapy and drug classes using non-technical language and other techniques to make complex information understandable.

Topics include:

  • The HIV Lifecycle
  • Opportunistic Infections
  • Goals and challenges of HIV medications
  • Side effects & adherence strategies

Topics NOT covered:

  • Specific drug interactions
  • Managing drug therapy with co-infections
  • An expanded discussion on adherence

Treatment Plus: A Menu of Courses on HIV Treatment

Audience: These courses are intended for treatment advocates and providers with direct client contact.

Participants will have a variety of one to two-hour web-based courses to choose from to enhance their learning experience. The training(s) will highlight HIV treatment updates and recent changes to information to ensure providers have current and accurate information.

Topics may include:

  • HIV & Aging
  • Prevention with Positives/Partner Services
  • Hepatitis C Co-infection
  • An expanded discussion on adherence

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How can I join the CSTEP e-Network?

  1. Go to: http://groups.google.com/group/cstep
  2. Click the link: “Join This Group“
  3. You can “Create an Account Now” using ANY email address, this address does not need to be a gmail account

Also, if you want to send an email to this group, send emails to: cstep@googlegroups.com

Who operates CSTEP?
CSTEP is a program of the Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center.

Contact CSTEP for more information.

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  More CSTEP Information  


Frequently Asked Questions

CSTEP Feedback
Questions & Comments

Google Groups
CSTEP e-Network
Visit this group

Google Groups
Subscribe to CSTEP e-Network

Visit this group

  CSTEP: Benefits Resources  

California Department of Public Health, Office of AIDS

Positive Resource Center

  CSTEP: Treatment Resources  

Project Inform

  CSTEP Training Team  

Sapna Mysoor
National CBA Program Manager
415-292-3420 x352

Myrnelle Dizon
CSTEP Training Coordinator
415-292-3420 x329

If you have any questions, please contact us at cstep@apiwellness.org

Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center
730 Polk Street, 4th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94109
ph: 415-292-3400 | fax: 415-292-3404

CSTEP is supported by the Office of AIDS of the California Department of Public Health.

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730 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109 | Tel 415.292.3400 | Fax 415.292.3404
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