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Global HIV Medicine Elective

The Challenge
While medical training and education programs in the U.S. cover textbook learning about HIV and AIDS, medical students rarely have the opportunity to care for patients with HIV, and particularly with advanced disease. Students who are interested in gaining expertise on HIV care may benefit from international experiences where they can participate in the care of such patients.


Project Goals
TREE offers an international HIV clinical rotation at the Coptic Hope Center for Infectious Disease in Nairobi, Kenya. This 6-8 week rotation will provides fourth-year medical students with an intensive first-hand experience in:

• treating HIV-positive patients in a resource-poor setting
• analyzing the relationship between poverty and health
• recognizing tropical diseases that are common in Sub-Saharan Africa or Southeast Asia
• understanding the epidemiology of HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa or Southeast Asia


At the end of this rotation students will be able to:
• describe the outpatient management of HIV infected patients in Kenya or Vietnam including the administration of antiretroviral therapy and the multi-disciplinary approach to care that is used
• explain the basic algorithm of care for an HIV patient initiating antiretroviral therapy for the first time
• contrast the HIV treatment and care that is delivered between resource-poor and resource-rich countries
• recognize and treat tropical diseases and opportunistic infections that are common in Kenya or Vietnam
• identify the routes of HIV transmission that are common in Kenya or Vietnam
• recognize the economics barriers to health and HIV care in resource-poor countries and gauge its impact on continuity of care
• evaluate the impact of health systems on the delivery of clinical care
• appraise the effectiveness of the public health approach to HIV treatment which is used in resource-poor countries
• assess the impact of bilateral and multilateral donor resources on the treatment and prevention of HIV in resource-poor countries
• explain the psychosocial challenges such as stigma, discrimination, and substance abuse that confront HIV-positive patients in Kenya or Vietnam
• know the names of commonly used antiretroviral drugs


Our Approach

i) Online Course

Students enrolled in this rotation will participate in online coursework associated with Clinical Management of HIV, a rigorous curriculum developed by faculty at the UW that teaches HIV care and treatment from developed and developing world perspectives. The associated coursework will be facilitated and taught by Drs. Aliza Monroe-Wise and Michael Chung and will supplement the experiential rotation with evidence-based HIV knowledge and skills. This web-based curriculum is comprised of ten 2-hour lectures as well as online homework and evaluative quizzes. The course provides evidence-based information on the diagnosis and treatment of HIV and opportunistic infections from developed and developing world perspectives.

ii) Mentorship

Students will meet with Dr. Monroe-Wise at least once per week during the rotation to discuss the elective experience. Based in Kenya, Dr. Monroe-Wise will mentor students who come to Nairobi in-person. Dr. Monroe-Wise will ensure that the goals and learning objectives are met and that the experience is tailored to the student’s global HIV ambitions.

iii) Cost

Cost of the international experience will be borne by the student. This includes but may not be limited to:
• Accommodation
• Living expenses including food
• Roundtrip airfare from Seattle
• Local transportation from the airport to the site
• Visa
• Immunizations
• Local administrative fee

iv) Eligibility

Prospective students must submit a CV and complete an application that requests, in part, the reasons they would like to pursue this elective. Short-listed students will be interviewed by Dr. Chung prior to selection. Students must be in their fourth year of medical school and must commit to 6-8 full weeks on the rotation. Prospective students must have a valid passport. Students will be required to obtain appropriate vaccinations. Students will be required to attend a travel health and safety orientation in advance of their rotation.


1. Application Submission 

2. Dr. Aliza Monroe-Wise