Integrated Counselling & Testing Centres

What is Integrated and Counselling Testing Centre

  • An integrated counseling and testing center is a place where a person is counseled and tested for HIV, on his own free will or as advised by medical provider and convinced that the test is mandatory
  • He / She is assured that the process will be confidential
  • The main functions of an ICTC include:
    • Early detection of HIV
    • Provision of basic information on modes of transmission and prevention of HIV/AIDS for promoting behavioural change and reducing vulnerability
    • Link positive people with other HIV prevention, care and treatment services
    • Follow up counselling
    • Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission (PPTCT)
    • Cross referrals – TB/STI/ART/TI-NGO/DIC/CCC etc 

ELEMENTS OF HIV COUNSELLING

  • A confidential dialogue
  • An evaluation of personal risk of HIV transmission facilitation of preventive behavior.”
  • To help them make a decision about whether or not to be tested,
  • To provide support and facilitated decision-making following testing.

Who needs to be tested in an ICTC

  • It is not the mandate of an ICTC to Counsel and test everyone in the general population
  • There are Subpopulation who are more vulnerable or practice high risk behavior.
  • These sub – populations include sex workers and their clients, Men who have   sex with men (MSM), transgender, injecting drug users (IDUs), Truckers, Migrant workers, spouses and children of man who are prone to risky behavior.
  • HIV prevalence levels are typically higher among these sub populations than in the general populations
  • Medical Providers also refer patients who have a history of risky behavior or have signs and symptoms suggestive of   HIV/AIDS for Counseling and testing to an ICTC.  
 Purpose of HIV Testing
  • Information is useful for prophylaxis, medical management and treatment of HIV and related
  • To assure blood safety and donation safety
  • To assess the efficacy of targeted intervention in a defined cohort.
  • To monitor trends of epidemic (sentinel surveillance etc.)
  • Identification of asymptomatic individuals (practicing high risk behavior)
  • To plan personal and family’s future if the result is positive.
  • To motivate for behavior modification through counseling amongst those who test negative and who practice high risk behaviors.
  • To induce behavior change and prevent transmission by counseling in those who are test positive
  • To diagnose clinically suspected cases
  • For peace of mind of individuals practicing high risk behavior

General Principals of HIV Testing

  • It should be part of the overall comprehensive and preventive programme
  • Testing should be technically sound and appropriate.
  • Test Procedure must be cost effective.
  • Laboratory Procedure must be monitored for ensuring quality.