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UIC Mental Health Care Provider
Education in HIV/AIDS

Under the direction of Dr, Lisa Razzano, the Mental Health Services Research Program has developed the UIC Mental Health Care Provider Education Program in HIV/AIDS (MHCPEP).  The project focuses on implementing and evaluating the effectiveness of a comprehensive array of curricula regarding mental health care provider education  in HIV/AIDS.  Funded by the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and in collaboration with the Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center (MATEC) of the Jane Addams College of Social Work (JACSW), and the UIC College of Nursing (CON), the project has provided training to over 3000 traditional and nontraditional mental health service and primary medical care providers in the Chicago area, throughout the state of Illinois, the Midwest, and other states across the nation. 

The four major components of the project are:

  • ongoing provider education/training;
  • dissemination of "late-breaking" information regarding HIV/AIDS treatment and services;
  • conducting research and program evaluation;
  • participation in a national multisite evaluation directed by a Coordinating Center at the Lewin Group.

Background and Purpose

The purpose of the UIC MHCPE project is to address the health promotion and disease prevention objectives outlined in Healthy People 2000, equipping mental health and other health care providers with the knowledge and skills necessary to address the medical, neurobehavioral, psychosocial, counseling, and testing issues related to working with people who are affected by HIV/AIDS. In addition, the project is designed to address ethical issues relevant to HIV/AIDS for providers working with affected populations.

The target audiences for these trainings include traditional and nontraditional mental health providers from an array of disciplines, including: psychiatry, psychology, nursing, social work, primary health care, case management, substance abuse counseling, corrections, and the clergy. In addition, the training modules are appropriate for many types of graduate students, including residents, medical students, nurses, and psychology and social work interns.


Participants are offered training in a comprehensive core module as well as advanced, specialized training modules, each of which is described in detail below.

(A Core Curriculum for Mental Health Providers)

The Fundamentals module is a comprehensive training program for mental health professionals of all disciplines. It combines lectures with small group case discussions facilitated by experts in various fields, including psychiatry, psychology, social work, nursing, medicine, public health, and rehabilitation.

Topics in the Fundamentals include:

Review of HIV Infection

Overview of Medical Management

Neurobehavioral Complications of HIV

Risk Reduction & Testing

Legal/Ethical Issues

Counseling Issues

Cultural Concerns & Special Populations


Neurobehavioral Aspects of HIV/AIDS

This module provides an overview of the characteristics of major neurobehavioral syndromes caused by or associated with HIV infection. It includes a discussion of differential diagnosis and neuropsychiatric comorbidity in persons with HIV/AIDS, assessment approaches and treatment considerations, and the application of current research findings to concepts in clinical care.

HIV/AIDS Care: Ethical Issues

Designed in collaboration with the American Psychological Association's HIV Office for Psychology Education (HOPE) Program, this module focuses on increasing participants' understanding of the aspects  related to ethical decisions regarding the challenges encountered in providing HIV-related health and mental health services.  The module explores the controversies surrounding HIV/AIDS work, but it does not provide any one particular set of "correct answers" to these difficult issues.

HIV/AIDS & People with Severe Mental Illness (SMI)

The SMI module examines the impact of comorbid psychiatric disability on HIV risks, prevention needs, and unique service needs for people with mental illness. In-depth discussions of major mental illnesses and their symptomatology, strategies for risk assessment and prevention, medication concerns, substance use, and implications for counseling, treatment and other services are explored.

In addition to these advanced modules, the Program can provide training and education regarding other important topics, including but not limited to:

  • Strategies to Improve Adherence
  • Employment and Returning-to-Work
  • Mental Health & HIV/AIDS Case Management
  • Substance Abuse & Harm Reduction
  • HIV/AIDS and Mental Health Among Correctional Populations

Training events can be tailored to meet the scheduling needs of your organization, and continuing education units can be provided for a variety of disciplines.

If you would like to schedule a training for your agency or organization, or if you would like additional information regarding this or other HIV/AIDS programs at the MHSRP, contact:

Marie Hamilton at (312) 355.1696.

For information on the other sites in the multi-site project, visit the Lewin Group's MHCPE II Site

Related Materials

You may order the manual HIV/AIDS and People with Serious Mental Illness: Strategies for Providers Working with Mental Health Consumers from our HIV/AIDS Publications page. The manual addresses the following topic areas:

  • HIV/AIDS Among People with Serious Mental Illness
  • Substance Abuse
  • HIV/AIDS Risks Patterns Among People with Mental Illness
  • Issues Regarding HIV Testing Among People with Mental Illness
  • Working with HIV/AIDS Affected Consumers
  • Services Issues for People with Serious Mental Illness
  • Education, Prevention & Risk Reduction, and
  • Issues Relevant to Diverse Populations.

Project Personnel

Lisa A. Razzano, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, MHSRP, Department of Psychiatry

Barbara Dancy, R.N., Ph.D., Co-PI, UIC College of Nursing

Nathan Linsk, Ph.D., Co-PI, Midwest AIDS Training & Education Center & Jane Addams College of Social Work

Eileen Martin, Ph.D., ABPP/ABCN,Co-PI, Assistant Professor, UIC Department of Psychiatry

Christopher Mitchell, D.S.W. , Co-PI, Jane Addams College of Social Work

Marie Hamilton, L.C.S.W., Project Coordinator, MHSRP

Project Consultants

Judith A. Cook, Ph.D., Professor & Director, Mental Health Services Research Program

Francisco Fernandez, M.D., Professor & Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, Loyola Medical Center

David Ostrow, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of Addictions Medicine, Loyola Medical Center

Healthy People 2000
DHHS Healthy People 2000

The Lewin Group
The Lewin Group

Midwest AIDS Training & Education Center

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Anixter Center

AIDS Foundation of Chicago


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Center on Mental Health Services Research and Policy
1601 W. Taylor St.
4th Floor (M/C 912)
Chicago, IL  60612  USA
(312) 355.1696
(312) 355.4189/FAX

Please send technical questions or suggestions to the Webmaster. Last updated Tuesday, July 02, 2002