Advanced Skills for Consumer Education
and National Development (ASCEND)
Leadership Training Program
The Advanced Skills for Consumer Education and National Development (ASCEND) Leadership Training Program has been developed to build skills and facilitate "Consumer Involvement to Respond to Unmet Need" in eligible metropolitan areas, states, and territories that are most severely affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The program provides an interactive three-day comprehensive skills-building and leadership training with concrete and ongoing support. AIDS Alliance contends that consumers who possess cultural competence and appropriate skills, talents, and experience are viable partners in the dissemination of information to their peers.
Newly trained peers are charged with developing and delivering an innovative message to reach individuals in their local communities. These individuals often represent the most difficult to reach populations.
The goal of the peer-led initiative is to reach out to those not-in-care or lost-to-care and help them gain and retain regular primary medical care.
Through the ASCEND Leadership Training Program, AIDS Alliance helps communities impacted by HIV and AIDS to educate persons living with HIV/AIDS to access medical care and supportive services needed to manage their HIV or AIDS. ASCEND services are provided free of charge to eligible communities receiving Part A or Part B funding through the Ryan White CARE Act which has documented unmet need as defined by Health Resources and Services Administration/HIV/AIDS Bureau (HRSA/HAB).