Ethnoracial Treatment Support Network (ETSN)

Program Name: Learning and Helping Out: Peer Treatment & Counseling Training for Culturally Diverse Communities

Description of program…

An intensive training course facilitated by treatment experts, HIV positive peers and health service providers for PHAs, service providers and caregivers from culturally diverse communities. ETSN is a partnership initiative of the five ethnoracial AIDS services organizations in Toronto. (see contact section for list), with CATIE and ABPO.

What are the key skills gained by a PHA during this program?

  • Understanding the health and treatment issues related to HIV (ie. understanding and monitoring lab results, starting or changing HIV therapy, side effects and making sense of HIV research information)
  • Peer based counseling skills on treatment issues and support.
  • Addressing the cultural specific issues affecting living with HIV

What is the required time commitment for this program?

The program is divided into 3 levels.  Level 1 “Helping Ourselves” is a 4 full day training program that focuses on basic treatment information and communication skills with health care providers.  Level 2 “Helping Others” is another 4 full day program that focuses on peer counseling skills and advanced treatment information. Level 3 “Peer Facilitators Training” focuses on presentation and facilitation skills for Level 2 graduates to become trainers and peer educators for future ETSN training workshops.

Is there employment or volunteer opportunities related to this training within your organization?

ETSN peer graduates will be trained to become peer facilitators on subsequent trainings and are encouraged to share their learning with peers in their supporting agency. 

How can a PHA use the skills learned for another organization or workplace?

Our peer graduates can use their skills in many different organizations, including ASOs, health care services, settlement or community services and in employment or volunteering.

When and how often is this program offered?

The program is offered based on the availability of resources, usually once a year.

Who can participate in this program?

PHAs, service providers and caregivers from the culturally diverse communities who are actively involved in PHAs support and education.

How does a PHA become involved in this program?

For information, contact CAAT program coordinator via email at:

For current course dates and registration, you can register for the program via:

All potential participants undergo a screening process.

You can also get additional information through partner agencies :

  • Asian Community AIDS Services – 416-963-4300
  • Africans in Partnership Against AIDS – 416- 924-5256
  • Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention – 416-599-2727
  • Black-CAP – 416-977-9955
  • Centre for Spanish Speaking People – 416-925-2800

Additional information?

Since our first training in 2003, more than 90 participants had successfully completed the training programs. Graduates continue to engage in ongoing training and social activities through treatment updates, workshops, reunion meetings, and other skills development activities. Graduates of the ETSN program are eligible to enroll in the PHA mentorship program: Legacy Project.