About STEP-UP 2020/21

Due to the current situation regarding COVID19, STEP UP will finally take place online this year.

The training will take the form of regular online sessions (4 hours per week max), and will be complemented by exercises and reading assignments. The online sessions will be recorded and available on our website.The training will start in September 2020 and end in March 2021. (The exact dates and times will be specified later).According to the evolution of the international travelling context, a summer course weekend might be organized in 2021 to conclude the training. 

Please complete your application by no later than 23:59 CEST, 12/07/2020

The STEP-UP programme is a yearlong modular training programme designed to provide HIV education and personal development training to people who have an aspiration to become more active in the work of and for HIV communities in Europe and Central Asia. The aim of the bilingual programme (English and Russian) is to equip a cohort of HIV ambassadors with the knowledge and skills they need to advocate for the best HIV practices. 

Specifically, the objectives of the STEP-UP programme are to: 

  • Enable trained activists to apply acquired skills to confidently engage in dialogue with researchers, policy makers and industry to advocate for universal and uninterrupted access to treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS and related co-infections at national and international level 

  • Support and enhance capacities, treatment and advocacy strategies of local, regional and national HIV community-based organisations across Europe 

  • Further promote the adherence to HIV treatment, care, support and prevention in Europe by increasing treatment literacy and advocacy of people living with HIV (PLHIV) and groups at risk, their supporters and consequently national organisations and health entities, with which they are affiliated 

  • Reduce stigma, health inequalities and discrimination towards people living with HIV 


The STEP-UP programme is designed for people living with HIV/AIDS, their health care providers, civil society representatives and other professionals who work in the field of advocating for the universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment, care and prevention. We expect the trainees to come equipped with a fairly good understanding of HIV transmission, treatment and prevention and related co-infections and to have an aspiration to go in depth and increase their knowledge and capacity on the topics addressed by the programme. STEP-UP graduates should assume a leading role in advocating for universal access to prevention and treatment, fighting stigma and discrimination and increasing understanding and acceptance of HIV in their country and at international level. Half of the trainees will come from Western/Southern/Northern/Central Europe and half of the trainees from Eastern Europe and Central Asia. 


Trainings will be held in both Russian and English. Participants need to be fluent in either English or Russian. 


The programme consists of three training modules that will combine a 2.5-day face-to-face training together with distance learning elements such as webinars, reading assignments, online discussion, and homework. The face-to-face training modules will run across three weekends in 2020 and 2021. 

We expect the participants to attend all trainings modules in full.


The first day of each module indicated above will be the date of arrival only. Training will take place on the following 2.5 days: two full days and half a day on the day of departure.

The training modules will cover the following topics below. Please note that the allocation of the topics to the modules might change.


Likely in Module 1: Standard of care for HIV in 2020 and emerging issues for PLHIV

  • HIV Science

  • Treatment as Prevention / U=U

  • EACS Guidelines – International Standard of Care

  • Co-infections / Tuberculosis / Hepatitis / STIs

  • Comorbidities and long term management / Mental health

  • Delivery models for integrated care

  • Remaining unmet medical needs

  • Access and affordability

  • New drug pipeline

  • Generics and Quality Control

  • Health care delivery models and performance monitoring

  • Benefits of ARV therapy


Likely in Module 2: Prevention and diagnostics existing and emerging tools

  • Epidemiology and treatment cascades for specific groups

  • Testing Strategies / testing guidance and their implementation

  • Making the Case for PrEP

  • PreP Service delivery models

  • Prevention and biomedical research, including vaccines

  • Clinical trial design for PreP trials

  • HIV and pregnancy

  • Drug use and harm reduction


Likely in Module 3: Community research and community mobilisation

  • Community Advisory Boards (CAB)

  • Community monitoring instruments

  • Legal framework for research

  • Overcoming legal and regulatory barriers to testing

  • Accountability (pricing, research, access etc)

  • Criminalization

  • Stigma and discrimination

  • Advocacy in challenging/hostile environments

  • Networking for change and solidarity

  • Project development and fundraising

This initiative has been independently developed by EATG, and was made possible through sponsorship from Gilead Sciences Europe Ltd and ViiV Healthcare Europe Ltd. EATG acknowledges that neither Gilead Sciences Europe Ltd nor ViiV Healthcare Europe Ltd have had any control or input into the structure or content of the initiative.