HIV Specialty

Red bridgeNearly four decades into the HIV epidemic advances in diagnosis and treatment have transformed what was once considered to be an almost universally fatal disease into a manageable chronic health problem. People with HIV are living longer lives and their primary health care needs are similar to those without HIV. Many health care providers who began working in the field of HIV early on are now retiring, resulting in an HIV health provider workforce shortage. The HIV Specialty for Nurse Practitioners at Duke is designed to address that need, and Nurse Practitioners who complete the Specialty are uniquely positioned to join the workforce and provide comprehensive, patient-centered HIV primary care.

The HIV Specialty is open to newly enrolled and currently enrolled students in the Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner or Women's Health Nurse Practitioner majors in the Duke MSN Program. It is also available to students with the same majors who are enrolled in the Duke DNP Program. The distance-based specialty curriculum includes eight credit hours of foundational and clinical courses that address the prevention, care, and treatment of adults living with HIV, with a strong focus on the unique primary care and psychosocial needs of this population. Students in the specialty complete a 168-hour clinical practicum under the mentorship of an experienced HIV primary care clinician.

The eight-credit HIV Specialty is also open as a non-degree option for licensed clinicians who wish to advance their knowledge and expertise in how to care for this unique patient population. Non-degree students earn an HIV Specialty Certificate.

Graduates of our program are managing the primary health care needs of adolescents and adults living with HIV in a diverse array of outpatient clinical settings including federally-qualified community health centers, Ryan White-funded HIV clinics, infectious disease specialty clinics, health department clinics, VAMC clinics, and academic medical centers.

  • Didactic instruction in HIV/AIDS pathophysiology, pharmacotherapy, psychosocial issues, and clinical management

  • A minimum of 168 HIV-specific clinical practicum hours. Clinical practicums are arranged for students in or near their home communities.

  • Visits to our campus for intensive group learning experiences with an interprofessional faculty of experts complement the online learning and clinical practicum experiences

  • Spring start only

  • NUR 840: Epidemiology and Pathogenesis of HIV/AIDS

  • NUR 841: Pharmacologic Aspects of HIV/AIDS

  • NUR 842: Psychosocial, Political, Legal and Ethical Aspects of HIV/AIDS

  • NUR 843: Clinical Care and Treatment Issues in HIV/AIDS (didactic course)

  • NUR 844: Clinical Care and Treatment Issues in HIV/AIDS: (168 hour clinical practicum)

Enrollment Options

If you are a current MSN student interested in adding this specialty to your academic plan, you must complete the Add a Specialty Form. This form must be submitted to the MSN Program Office via email (son‐ at least 10 days prior to the start of the semester.

Licensed health care providers with a master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution (e.g., MSN-prepared nurse practitioners, physician assistants, MDs) interested in the HIV specialty certificate should follow instructions for the Specialty Certificate application. Enrollment decisions are made by the lead faculty of the specialty based on space availability.

    Learn more about our curriculum

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