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.