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?
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) supports this by providing a multi-tiered, high-impact training program throughout California for providers of HIV/AIDS.

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

Is CSTEP for me?
CSTEP is ideal for HIV providers who want to increase their HIV skills and knowledge. Our target audience includes case managers, treatment advocates and educators, nurses, mental health counselors, peer advocates and other professionals who work with people living with HIV/AIDS.

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.

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)?
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)

The administration fee is $35 for courses that range between 2-7 units/hours upon completion. The only exception is the online treatment course, “Supporting Clients in a Dynamic Era of HIV Treatment,“ which provides a total of 28 units/hours upon completion at a fee of $150.

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 Program Assistant, Reed Miller at 415.292.3420 x370 or via email at reed@apiwellness.org.

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

Online Treatment Trainings:

HIV and Your Immune System
This 1 to 2 hour online, self-paced course covers the basic biology of HIV infection and treatment. You will learn how a healthy Immune System functions, how HIV replicates and causes immune suppression, and how antiretroviral therapy works in our bodies. This course is designed for busy clinical and non-clinical providers working in the field of HIV prevention and treatment. Participants will move through the course at their own pace, and have opportunities to engage with facilitators and peers through chats and discussion forums.

Supporting Clients in a Dynamic Era of HIV Treatment
This 4-week online course is designed for clinical and non-clinical providers in the HIV field who have existing knowledge and experience in HIV prevention and treatment. Using the Garner Treatment Cascade as a framework, we will provide an in-depth look at how the HIV treatment paradigm has shifted over the past three decades, and how participants can best support their clients in achieving successful health outcomes. Special emphasis will be placed on linkage to care and strategies to increase treatment adherence. We will also present information on newer research and interventions currently being used.

Each week will consist of modules related to a major theme along the Treatment Cascade. Learning material is presented in various ways, including lectures, readings, and live sessions with experts from the field. Participants will also be able to interact with facilitators and peers through discussion forums, chats, and social media. Similar to the self-paced course, participants will be able to move at their own pace (excluding live sessions and activities that will occur at scheduled times), but will be expected to complete the training within a specific time frame. In order to enroll in APIWC 201, you must complete APIWC 101.

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Benefits In-Person Trainings:

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.

Lay of the Land - An Overview of Existing Health Care Programs that Affect People Living with HIV/AIDS

Audience: This course is for providers new to health care services, publicly funded services, benefits counseling or interested in obtaining a basic understanding of the HIV benefits system. Participants will include:

  • Office of AIDS outreach and/or case management staff
  • Case managers and benefits counselors
  • Outreach workers, peer advocates, and health educators
  • Other service providers


  • Discuss in general terms eligibility and application requirements as they relate to HIV-related health, disability and public aid programs including health programs: Medicare, Medi-Cal, private insurance, managed care, Office of AIDS Health Insurance Premium Payment (OA-HIPP), AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), and Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program funded medical care services.
  • Identify and use acronyms and terms related to health care, support services and benefits.
  • Maintain awareness of issues affecting a client’s ability to seek assistance from public resources


This one (1)-day course will familiarize participants with basic terms and concepts related to health and existing health care programs. The training will include a discussion of programs for which clients may be eligible. Participants will gain an understanding of the sensitivity required to deal with individuals navigating the public benefits system while living with HIV.

Topics include:

  • Overview of health programs such as Medicare, Medi-Cal, private insurance and managed care.
  • A broad look at health care for people with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA).
  • Overview of health care programs that serve everyone regardless of disability status.
  • Overview of Ryan White care completion and affordability services.

Health Care Reform and HIV: New and Upcoming Health Care Programs of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Audience: This course is for medical and non-medical providers with working knowledge in health care services, publicly funded services, benefits counseling, and/or interested in obtaining a more advanced understanding of the HIV benefits system. Participants will include:

  • Office of AIDS outreach and/or case management staff
  • Case managers and benefits counselors
  • Outreach workers, peer advocates, and health educators
  • Other service providers


  • Gain an understanding of:

    • The Affordable Care Act and its impact on people with HIV
    • How Health Care Reform is being implemented in California
    • How Ryan White programs will interact with other payers and continue to serve people with HIV
    • The eligibility and enrollment process for:
         - Medi-Cal Expansion
         - Covered California
         - Ryan White programs
    • How to help clients navigate new coverage
    • How to work through a few case examples

  • Accurately assess a client’s benefit needs and provide accurate information and appropriate referrals.
  • Recognize the importance of culturally appropriate treatment of individuals from diverse backgrounds.
  • Evaluate a client’s cognitive ability and motivational level in order to offer the appropriate amount of support to individuals while maintaining a partnership relationship built on empowering the client.
  • Maintain awareness of issues affecting a client’s ability to seek assistance from public resources.
  • Understand strategies to assist clients dealing with stigma they may experience as a result of HIV infection, dependency on the public benefit systems or other issues.
  • Discuss the health care system; where it is now and where it is going in 2014 and beyond.


This one (1)-day course will present the changes to the health care programs in 2014 and beyond. Participants will gain an understanding of the sensitivity required to deal with individuals navigating the public benefits system while living with HIV.

Topics include:

  • An overview of Health Care Reform
  • A closer look at the changes in the health care system in California
  • Enrollment and navigation
  • Supporting clients
  • Case examples

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

  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 C. Dizon
Training Coordinator
415-292-3420 x329

Reed Milliard
Program Assistant, Community Development
415-292-3420 x370

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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