STEP-UP Massive Open Online Course: A year in review

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Since January 2022, the European AIDS Treatment Group (EATG) in partnership with the Alliance for Public Health (APH) have been delivering their first Massive Open Online Course. We brought together the best experts in the field of HIV/AIDS for the production of video courses for the online training platform STEP-UP MOOC.

We worked for more than 10 months to develop the materials of the MOOC. After the development of the bilingual (English and Russian) curriculum consisting of self-paced e-learning combined with training on networking, empowerment, and advocacy, the MOOC was launched in April 2023.

Building on the established face-to-face STEP-UP trainings, the transition to the online format helped EATG provide broader access to HIV/AIDS trainings for more than 300 activists from more than 35 countries. 25 expert trainers led participants through their learning path to the final stage of certification.

Active participants received recognised certificates on:

  • Science of HIV/AIDS, co-infections, HIV cure and design of clinical trials
  • Stigma, discrimination and criminalisation
  • Harm reduction and service delivery for vulnerable groups
  • Advocacy with pharmaceutical companies on treatment pricing and affordability
  • HIV and mental health
  • Ageing and co-morbidities
  • Migration and travelling with HIV

In addition, STEP-UP  extended beyond virtual learning. Graduates of the online course who scored the highest on the tests were invited to a 3-day coaching seminar with the course instructors.

The STEP-UP Community of Practice Workshop, took place in Porto, Portugal, from June 29th to July 2nd.

Over this weekend, 22 passionate HIV advocates gathered to enhance their skills and connections. Through mutual sharing, the advocates showcased the potent blend of personal identities and collective advocacy.

STEP-UP mini-grants were awarded to 8 MOOC graduates for the implementation of their own projects. Here is how these grants helped communities:

  • “Wellbeing Training for Women Living with HIV in Tajikistan” implemented by Zoir Razzakov, one of our participants representing the NGO “Tadzhik Network of Women Living with HIV”.
  • “Training on PreP and PEP for KeyPops” in the Kyrgyz Republic by Daria Mikulich from NGO “EECA CAB”.
  • “Training for Peer Educators” by Ivana Benkovic from NGO “Iskorak” in Croatia.
  • The “Avoid Loneliness” project by Tatiana Golubeva from NGO “People Plus” will help reduce the social isolation of older PLHIV and disabilities in Belarus.
  • “Promoting women’s rights and empowerment” project by Natalia Minaieva from NGO “Nursenim” in Kazakhstan.
  • Harm reduction for young people” project of Hovsep Davtyan from the Armenian NGO “Real World, Real People”.
  • “Obstetric violence” project by Natalia Gerasimchuk implemented by Ukrainian NGO “Positive Women”.

The only requirement to take part in the STEP-UP MOOC programme is a desire to participate. STEP-UP MOOC will remain open online in for activists to deepen their knowledge of HIV advocacy and scale up their work.


Find out how you can register and follow the STEP-UP MOOC here.


Thank you to all who made STEP UP MOOC possible — teams of European AIDS Treatment Group, Alliance for Public Health, e-Sia learning platform, external consultants, our trainers and experts and of course all participants!




STEP-UP has been independently developed by EATG, and was made possible through sponsorship from Gilead Sciences Europe Ltd. EATG acknowledges that Gilead Sciences Europe Ltd has not had any control or input into the structure or content of the initiative. The STEP-UP MOOC is implemented in collaboration with the Alliance for Public Health.


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