Voluntary Confidential Counseling and Testing
Voluntary Counseling and Testing is a key HIV prevention strategy and the objective of our VCT program at UWC is:
- To encourage all students and staff to know their status
- To prevent the spread of HIV on our campus and in the community
- To reduce risk behaviour amongst students and staff
- To provide psycho-social and medical care for clients testing HIV positive
- To encourage positive living for our HIV positive clients.
The Voluntary Counseling and Testing process consists of:
A pre-test counseling session
A testing session
A post-test counseling session
The Pre-test counseling
During pre-test counseling the following issues are discussed:
- Confidentiality - Student records are kept under a code, not their name
- The test and the testing procedure
- Assessment of risk behaviour
- Risk reduction strategies
- Abstinence and safe sex practices
- The implications of a positive test
- Coping strategies in the case of a positive test
- Consenting to test (the client signs a consent form)
The Testing Procedure
There are two categories of tests:
- Tests to identify the virus
- Tests to identify HIV antibodies
The sensitivity (accurate detection of HIV antibodies-positive status) and specificity (the accurate detection of no antibodies-negative status) of Rapid Tests compare favourably to the Elisa tests.
All Rapid Tests used at Campus Health have been tested by the National Institute of Virology (NIV) for sensitivity and specificity and meet the required government standards. Currently we use the Abbott Determine Rapid Test as a screening test and the Sensa Tri - Line Test as a confirmatory test in the case of a positive screening test. The test only consists of a finger prick. A safety lancet is used for the finger prick - this means there is no risk of being pricked by the same needle - once the lancet is used it cannot be re - used.
The Post-Test Counseling
During the post-test counseling session, the test result is given to the client.
If the test is negative, the following are discussed with the client:
- The window period. This is a three-month period between infection and the detection of antibodies, which makes it possible to test negative for HIV but actually have a positive status.
- Risk reduction strategies to remain negative
- Abstinence and safe sex practices
- Follow-up testing
The following issues are dealt with if the results are positive:
Emotional responses and concerns
Psycho-social support (individual support and support group)
Disclosure to partners and family
Appointment for follow-up counseling and ongoing psycho-social support.
Safe sex practices to prevent re-infection and the spread of the disease to others. (With practicing unprotected sex, one can be re-infected with different and resistant strains the virus and the viral load in one’s body remains very high).
Information on positive living, nutrition, contraception, disease progression, the immune system, CD4, viral load, opportunistic diseases and antiretroviral treatment.
Nutritional supplements and vitamins are provided
Flu vaccines are administered annually to persons with CD4 counts above 200.
Follow up tests to determine CD4 counts
Complete physical examination and a staging assessment according to WHO criteria
The importance of annual PAP smears for HIV positive women
Voluntary Counseling and Testing is done between 09:00 and 16:00 from Mondays to Thursdays at Campus Health.
To meet our staff and see their contact information, please click here:
For more information about VCT Services, to speak to the counselor: Olive Tel: 959 3966 or to make an appointment call reception: Tel 959 2875/6