Treatment Literacy/Information needs/vct

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ART awareness reinforces the willingness to be tested

Credit: © 2005 Stéphane Janin, Courtesy of Photoshare

HIV counseling and testing is particularly important as a starting point for access to other HIV/AIDS-related services. If people do not know they are infected, they cannot get any treatment or care. In too many cases people are diagnosed HIV positive when they are already seriously ill.
Raising awareness of the benefits of treatment provides people with an incentive to learn their HIV status, and so should help to increase demand.
In many societies fear of stigma and discrimination remains a barrier to testing. To overcome this problem, many countries offer every patient an HIV test as a routine part of health care, regardless of symptoms.

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Web Resources

Information on HIV tests:


Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) includes specialized counseling on the following issues:

  • HIV and AIDS information
  • Pre-test or decision counseling
  • Post-test counseling
  • Plans for reducing risk behaviour.

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Key points
  • Counseling is a confidential dialogue between a client and a counselor, aimed at enabling the client to cope with stress and take personal decisions related to HIV/AIDS.
  • The combination of counseling and testing amplifies the benefits of both services.
  • It is an approach that is useful in all settings - resource-rich and resource-poor, urban and rural and it can be done for individuals and couples, for people of all ages and of all backgrounds.