BIOL 6663: Qualified Professional Test Counselor Certification Course

Student Leaders: 
Ruben Lesnick, MD21; Ashwin Palaniappan
Faculty Adviser: 
Dr. Philip Chan

The course is a unique opportunity for students to become involved within the Rhode Island community. In 2006, the CDC revised its HIV testing guidelines and now recommends that everyone between the ages of 13-64 get screened for HIV. As it stands in Rhode Island, only Qualified Professional Testing Counselors (QPTCs) are allowed to provide testing services for HIV. Through providing instruction on current HIV management, this course will train students to become certified QPTCs and offer instruction in the use of both HIV and HCV Rapid Antibody Tests. Students will learn how to address difficult diagnoses and how to best encourage their patients to seek further treatment. Students will be able to use their knowledge and certification to strengthen the efforts of The Miriam Hospital, Rhode Island Free Clinic, Clinica Esperanza, and others to increase both HIV and HCV screening, providing a valuable and much needed service to the community.