Online Class: HIV — Prevention, Diagnosis, Treatment

Welcome to our introductory course on HIV: Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment. In this course, students will learn the difference between HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and AIDS (Acquired Immune

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Course Description

Comprehensive Guide to HIV: Understanding, Prevention, and Care

Welcome to this all-encompassing course on HIV: Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment. Through a systematic approach, our course aims to provide clear insights into a topic that often remains shrouded in myths and misconceptions. With current statistics, a plethora of examples, and detailed explanations, students will acquire a well-rounded understanding of HIV and its broad implications.

Why This Course Matters

The distinction between HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is often misunderstood, resulting in unwarranted fears and stigmas. By comprehensively understanding these conditions, not only do patients benefit, but also their families, friends, and caregivers, fostering a supportive environment for those affected.

Course Highlights

  1. The Fundamentals of HIV: Dive deep into what HIV is and how it differentiates from AIDS, debunking common myths and misconceptions.

  2. HIV’s Impact on the Body: Grasp how the virus interacts with the human immune system, and the physiological changes it induces.

  3. Symptoms and Diagnostics: Explore the signs that might indicate HIV infection and the modern diagnostic methods employed by healthcare professionals.

  4. Prevention is Better Than Cure: Delve into actionable methods to prevent HIV transmission, focusing on industry-recommended precautions and understanding the increased risk factors associated with certain lifestyles.

  5. Treatment Modalities: From globally recognized antiretroviral therapies to alternative treatments and nutritional supplements, discover the myriad ways HIV is being managed today.

  6. Living Positively with HIV: Understand the dietary needs, lifestyle habits, and coping mechanisms that can help boost the immune system and enhance the quality of life for those diagnosed.

  7. Transition to AIDS: Unravel the factors leading to the progression of HIV to AIDS and current research endeavors aimed at slowing this progression.

  8. Breaking Stereotypes: Equip yourself with credible resources to challenge misconceptions about HIV and advocate for an informed and compassionate societal perspective.

Course Breakdown

  1. HIV Basics: Set a strong foundation by understanding the core aspects of HIV.
  2. How Does HIV Affect the Body?: Learn the physiological effects of the virus.
  3. Symptoms Associated With HIV: Identify potential warning signs.
  4. How an HIV Diagnosis Is Made: Discover the various diagnostic procedures.
  5. Preventing HIV Infection and Transmission to Others: Understand and champion preventive measures.
  6. Traditional HIV Treatment Options: Gain insight into globally-recognized treatment regimens.
  7. Alternative Medical Treatments for HIV: Explore beyond traditional medicine.
  8. Living With HIV: Embrace the measures for a healthy life post-diagnosis.
  9. Preventing HIV-Related Illnesses: Ward off secondary infections and complications.
  10. What Is My Prognosis?: Delve into the long-term outlook for those with HIV.
  11. Coping With HIV: Strategies and resources for mental and emotional well-being.

Who Should Enroll

This course is indispensable for anyone seeking a comprehensive understanding of HIV, especially those recently diagnosed, their families, healthcare professionals, educators, or anyone aiming to challenge the status quo surrounding HIV and AIDS.

In an era where information is power, we invite you to become empowered, informed, and compassionate. Let's build a world where understanding trumps fear, and care surpasses judgment. Join us today and make a difference, one lesson at a time.

Course Motivation

What is HIV?

HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 20,000 individuals with AIDS die in the United States every year. And nearly 57,000 more Americans are infected with HIV virus each year.

The HIV virus cannot replicate on its own, but needs to invade and infect other cells in the body on order to replicate. HIV is considered a retrovirus, or one that is slow acting that can take years between infection and onset of symptoms to develop.

HIV infections enter the body through the bloodstream, mucous membranes, or by contact with infected blood or other bodily fluids. Following infection, certain cells, called CD4+T cells, rapidly reproduce and replicate.

Think of CD4+T cells as the front-line soldiers of the immune system, the body's major defense against infection. In a healthy adult, the CD4+T cell count typically ranges above 1,000. Over time, the HIV virus gradually reduces this number. At the point where an individual has fewer than 200 of these T4 cells, the body is no longer able to protect and fight against what are known as opportunistic infections. We'll cover some of these HIV-related illnesses and infections in Lesson 9.

Following exposure to the HIV virus, the immune system's ability to properly function is disrupted. The HIV virus attacks the body's immune responses, literally disabling them, giving the virus the chance to replicate, as well as to attack and kill the body's own immune response to the virus.

Gradually, the body's immune system is destroyed to the point it is unable to protect the body against other illnesses, such as a cold, pneumonia, infections, cancers, or organ damage. Eventually, a person may enter the stage known as AIDS, or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. 

What Is the Difference Between HIV and AIDS?

At its most basic definition, HIV is a virus that eventually causes AIDS. Human immunodeficiency virus merely means that a virus or infection has invaded the body, disrupting the immune system's ability to function properly. Between infection and onset of symptoms, a person may enjoy a perfectly normal and active lifestyle and activity levels, being none the wiser that a virus has invaded the body.

AIDS is not an inherited condition, but must be acquired, hence its name. The term "syndrome" implies that a number of conditions or symptoms may be present during this stage of the disease, most typically caused by failure of the immune system to function properly.

Not all people diagnosed with HIV infections have AIDS. HIV may or may not progress in stages, ending up with the AIDS diagnosis. Individuals who live with HIV infections, who don't typically experience symptoms, are called asymptomatic, meaning without symptoms. Following early symptoms of the condition, most individuals are diagnosed with early symptomatic HIV. As the condition worsens and damages the immune system, a person may be diagnosed with opportunistic infections, such as pneumonia, tumors, chronic coughs, and lung damage and organ failure.

Each individual may react to the HIV virus in a different way. For example, basketball player Earvin "Magic" Johnson was diagnosed with AIDS nearly 20 years ago. He continues to lead a fairly active and normal healthy lifestyle, even though at the time of his diagnosis, many people feared that he'd been delivered a death sentence. Because he was diagnosed as such an early stage, and continues with his drug treatments, Magic's prognosis is fairly good. Actually, many individuals today who experience both effective drug treatment coupled with early detection have a roughly 90 percent chance of holding the HIV virus in check without ever developing AIDS-related conditions or infections.

HIV and AIDS testing methodologies, education and awareness programs, as well as new drug treatments given at this stage of the disease have helped thousands of individuals lead a normal lifestyle.

A person living with HIV needs to take certain precautions, which also will be discussed in this course; but just because a person is diagnosed as HIV positive, doesn't mean the person will develop AIDS.

HIV progresses in four basic stages. After the initial infection, a "window" occurs. This is the time between the infection and the presence of observable antibodies in the body's blood stream. Antibodies to HIV generally appear within three to six months of the infection.

The next stage of the HIV virus is called seroconversion. During this time, the body's immune system produces antibodies against the HIV virus in an effort to protect itself. Common symptoms at this point may include swollen lymph nodes and flu-like symptoms. During this period, the virus is highly infectious.

Following the period of seroconversion, a person may experience what is known as an asymptomatic period. No symptoms are felt or experienced during this period. For some people, this period may last six months, while for others 10 years or more may pass symptom-free. It's impossible to determine exactly how long it takes one person or another to experience symptoms. Even if the person is not showing any symptoms, and may feel perfectly healthy and strong, the virus continues to replicate and reproduce inside the body. The replication of the virus will cause a general, gradual, and inevitable weakening and decline of the body's immune system.


The effects HIV may have on the body include both physical and mental changes, some of which are slower to appear than others. Again, every individual may react to the HIV virus differently, and just because one person experiences certain symptoms doesn't mean that another will experience the same.

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
4.6 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(578 votes)

Lesson 1: HIV Basics

Information and education is the first step toward reducing your chance of being exposed to, or infected with, HIV. 11 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 1 Exam

Lesson 2: How Does HIV Affect the Body?

Understanding the basic effect that HIV has on the physical, emotional, and mental well-being and development of any individual will help prepare them for changes -- now and in the future. 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 2 Exam

Lesson 3: Symptoms Associated With HIV

This lesson is only meant to give you a basic idea of the most common types of symptoms experienced by an individual with HIV. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 3 Exam

Lesson 4: How an HIV Diagnosis Is Made

A definitive diagnosis cannot be made without a variety of diagnostic tests, physical examination and analysis of symptoms. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Lesson discussions: HIV Test
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Exam

Lesson 5: Preventing HIV Infection and Transmission to Others

HIV infections can be transmitted in several different ways, and knowing how it's transported is the first step toward preventing spread and transmission to others. 12 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Prevention
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Exam

Lesson 6: Traditional HIV Treatment Options

Drugs, medications, and treatment therapies to treat individuals in various stages of the HIV disease have come a long way in the last two decades. Additional lesson topics: HIV and Its Treatment 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 6 Exam

Lesson 7: Alternative Medical Treatments for HIV

Some individuals may choose alternative forms of therapy for treatment of HIV before they're recommended for drug therapies. Additional lesson topics: Using Alternative Therapies 7 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 7 Exam

Lesson 8: Living With HIV

Because information and education is so important in helping to avoid complications, reduce frequency and severity of symptoms, enhance longevity, and quality of life, it's important to understand what others have done to adapt and deal with HIV. Additional lesson topics: Living with HIV 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 8 Exam

Lesson 9: Preventing HIV-Related Illnesses

In this lesson, we'll discuss some of the most common HIV-related conditions that individuals with experience, as well as what they can do to help prevent those opportunistic infections. 11 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 9 Exam

Lesson 10: What Is My Prognosis?

Understanding what happens during the transition from HIV to AIDS will help some individuals be more alert to changes in their body, and to take certain steps to put their lives, care, and finances in order. Additional lesson topics: Prognosis 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 10 Exam

Lesson 11: Coping With HIV

An individual striving to cope with an HIV-positive diagnosis needs to become conversant on the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of the disease, but in regard to their mental health and spiritual wellness as well. Additional lesson topics: Mental Health and HIV 62 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Lesson discussions: HIV Support; Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course); Course Comments
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 11 Exam
  • Assessment: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Define what HIV is, describe how HIV affects the body, and recognize the symptoms associated with HIV.
  • Summarize HIV Diagnosis Is Made.
  • Describe methods for preventing HIV infection and transmission to others.
  • Define traditional HIV treatment options and summarize alternative medical treatments for HIV.
  • Describe living with HIV and coping with HIV.
  • Describe methods of preventing HIV-related illnesses.
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
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Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: HIV: Prevention, Diagnosis, Treatment
Course Number: 8900167
Lessons Rating: 4.6 / 5 Stars (578 votes)
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Availability: This course is online and available in all 50 states including: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, and Washington.
Last Updated: February 2024
Course Type: Self-Paced, Online Class
CEU Value: 0.5 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Course Fee: $120.00 U.S. dollars

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Student Testimonials

  • "After completing this course I have learned that there are many stages to HIV and if left untreated the disease becomes worse and you eventually develop AIDS. I am very happy to have taken this course because after learning this I realized that HIV is managable and very misunderstood. Great learning experience, the course is very informative." -- Maria B.
  • "She was very prompt in grading the assignments and exams." -- Lyn L.