In this study session, you have learned that:
- HIV testing has several benefits — it creates early access to HIV treatment and care, it encourages reduction of high-risk behaviour, it helps people to make lifestyle changes and avoid transmission of the virus to partners; and for those found to be negative, it helps them to develop a plan to remain HIV-negative.
- The barriers to HIV testing can be client-related, healthworker-related and health facility-related.
- There are three different modes of delivering HIV testing and counselling — voluntary counselling and testing (VCT), provider-initiated HIV testing and counselling (PITC), and mandatory testing.
- HIV testing and counselling should respect human rights. Informed consent should be obtained prior to testing. Mandatory HIV testing can be ordered by a court in cases dealing with sexual assault and rape.
- There are five steps in delivering PITC:
Step 1: Recommend HIV testing.
Step 2: Provide brief pre-test information and education on HIV/AIDS, assure confidentiality, and obtain informed consent.
Step 3: Obtain specimen for HIV testing.
Step 4: Perform rapid HIV test.
Step 5: Deliver HIV test result, provide post-test counselling, and refer the patient if necessary.
- The three rapid HIV test kits used in Ethiopia are KHB as a screening test, STAT-PAK as a confirmatory test, and Uni-gold as a tiebreaker test. Testing follows a standard set of procedures as laid out in the HIV testing algorithm.