VOLUNTARY COUNCELING AND TESTING

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PASADA provides VCT at the Chang’ombe Upendano centre and at 18 satellite sites throughout its catchment area. All PASADA counsellors have been trained in VCT counselling and client confidentiality is guaranteed.

The VCT model emphasizes pre-test counselling, risk assessment and voluntary seeking of the test. Test results are then given with post-test counselling and support. A client with an HIV negative result is provided with risk reduction counselling, information about the window period and retesting within the following three months and reinforcement of any healthy behaviour reported in pre-test counselling. Clients receiving an HIV positive result are counselled on disclosure, support and treatment, reducing the risk of further infection and any other issues of concern. It is at this point that the client is registered in PASADA and can access all the services provided by the organization, completely free of charge.

The counselling needs of a newly registered client effectively begin at this point. Ongoing supportive counselling on request is available for all clients and every effort is made to ensure that clients can see the same counsellor each time, so that a better relationship of trust can be established.  “Now that you know” meetings are held each month and clients registered in that month are invited to attend. In this venue, they are able to share with others their sentiments of  fear, anger, anxiety and denial brought about by an HIV positive result.

PASADA is also promoting Provider Initiated Testing and Counseling (PITC) in the outreach health facilities in which it operates.

Following a preliminary counseling session, PASADA provides testing for HIV antibodies.  Clients testing negative are given further information and support to remain negative.  Those testing positive are registered and have access to all other services. Ongoing supportive counseling is available when needed, in groups or individually.

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