Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Everything you always wanted to know about HIV testing but were too afraid to ask

HIV under a microscope

Why should I get tested?

Getting counselled and tested for HIV gives you the opportunity to plan for a better, healthier life, whether you test positive or not. At Carryou, all the staff you encounter, from the receptionist to the counsellor, make every effort to ensure the process is as comfortable as possible.
Clients can come back for follow up counselling if they need it.

Is it confidential?

Yes. Absolutely. When you arrive at a Carryou testing facility, our volunteers will welcome you and open a consent form for you. This form is always kept secure, confidential and locked away.

What does the counselling process involve?

Carryou uses highly-trained, counsellor-testers who provide both HIV testing and counselling services. Your counsellor will take you through the pre-test counselling, administer the HIV test and provide post-test counselling and support for you.
During the pre-test counselling the counsellor will ensure you understand the facts about HIV and AIDS and you are encouraged to ask questions. Your counsellor will also discuss past behaviour that could have put you at risk and will work with you to come up with a risk-reduction plan. You will also discuss the test process and possible test results. If you decide to proceed with testing, you will be asked to consent to an HIV test that will then be administered.

How is the test carried out?

Blood is drawn from a relatively painless, tiny finger-prick. The results are returned in around 15 minutes.

What if I test negative?

Should you test negative, the counsellor will discuss with you, plans to help you maintain your negative status. Should you have, in any way, potentially been exposed to HIV shortly before you were tested, you will be encouraged to return for retesting.

What happens if I test positive?

If a client tests positive the counsellor will discuss ways to remain healthy and effectively manage the virus. The client is also referred to the nearest clinic for further post-test support and care-services, including ARV therapy. Clients return for follow up counselling, if they so wish and are encouraged to bring their spouses or partners for counselling and testing.

How old must you be to be tested at Carryou?

Carryou does not test clients below the age of 14, without the consent of the biological parents or legal guardian.

For further information call Carryou Ministry at 011 412 2013

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