Institutional Architecture, Coordination, Resource Mobilization, Application and Sustainability
HIV COUNSELING & TESTING/VOLUNTARY COUNSELING & CONFIDENTIAL TESTING (HCT/VCCT)
HCT is HIV Counseling and Testing. It is one of the various strategies employed to address the epidemic. It is the same process referred to as Voluntary Counseling and Confidential Testing (VCCT) that is now called HCT.
There are four steps involve:
Post test counseling
On going/follow-up counseling
HCT is the process by which an individual undergoes counseling to enable him makes an informed choice about going for HIV test. This process is voluntary because it provides opportunity to make ‘an informed choice’ by the client. Basically, all laboratory tests are known to be confidential hence ‘confidentiality’ involved is being played down. This process is necessary to reduce the consequence of the stress involved in knowing ones status as a result of the anxiety of being positive. It is the entry point to prevention, care, treatment and support services. The main objective is to enable the client cope with the outcome of the laboratory result. Others are to be able to know what is the next right step to take.
Some of the benefits of HCT include
- Early detection and effective knowledge of referral to other support services.
- Early assess to medical care, health information, and ongoing emotional support.
- Access to information and support for those negative to help them maintain their negative status and those who are positive to live positively with the virus.
- It contributes to reduction of the stigma and discrimination that envelope the epidemic.
In Nigeria, access to knowledge of HIV status has been mainly through the initiative of Health workers for patients who present HIV related signs to symptoms. However, with the introduction of other strategies to treatment, care and support inform of ARVs, PMTCT and AIDS treatment, there is the need for scaling up both client initiated HCT and provider initiated approaches. some of the various service delivery centres in Ondo State include…