HIV TESTING AND COUNSELING (HTC) The activities in this program support targets the general population and seek to provide clients the opportunity to confidentially discuss their HIV risks and be assisted to learn their HIV status for the purposes of prevention, treatment, care and support. HTC serves as a major entry point to prevention with lots of benefits for the clients. Irrespective of the test result (positive or negative), there is always a prevention package for the client. It also serves as the entry point for HIV care, treatment and support services. It is offered as part routine health services or target specific high risk groups. HTC is either client initiated where the client voluntarily walks in to seek the service or provider initiated where the health care provider recommends and provides HTC. It can be provided at:
- HTC stand-alone sites with referral to treatment sites or integrated with other services such as:
1. Maternal & Child Health
2. TB DOTS
3. Pediatric Inpatient & Outpatient
4. General Outpatient, Inpatient and STI screening and treatment,
5. Family & Reproductive Health
- Mobile van services including community & in-home testing to reach out to the hard-to-reach communities e.g. Moon- light testing for night crawlers and non-resident sex workers
- Co- located with condoms and other prevention sites targeting transient populations like long distance drivers at truck stops etc.
The use of mobile van to provide services have led to significant increase in the number of persons accessing HTC with referrals made for care and treatment. In all of the above, a seamless referral and linkage mechanism is important for ongoing prevention, care, treatment and support services.
With increased public awareness about HIV testing, community acceptability has increased. However a major challenge is inadequate access to test kits to cater for increasing number of clients at testing facilities. To overcome this challenge and enhance health facility ownership, IHVN facilitates supported health facilities' access to test kits from the state governments through state AIDS control agencies.