HCT (HIV Counseling and Testing)

HIV Counseling and Testing is the service rendered to an individual in order for him/her to know his HIV status, which could be either positive or negative and is usually confidential.

testing

HCT is done in three distinct components, pre- test counseling before the blood is taken and this is meant to prepare the individual for the test and assess the risk level to HIV virus the person possessed. Also, it helps one to anticipate the result, whether it turns out HIV positive or negative.  The second component is the taking of blood sample and test by using rapid test kits and lastly is disclosure of result, counseling and referrals, depending on the outcome of the result.

HCT is an integral part of HIV/AIDS. Without HCT, diagnosing HIV may not be possible except when an individual comes down seriously with some of the known symptoms of the disease. The National Agency for the Control of AIDS is using all strategy available to increase HCT uptake in the country. Provider Initiative HCT strategy is being introduced to most government funded hospitals to ensure that all patients that come in to health facility have access to HCT services at no cost.

The importance Of HIV Counseling and Testing includes:

1       HCT helped millions of people to know their status either they are positive or negative.

2       HCT helps in preventing the spread of HIV.

3       HCT allows the public to have access to medical care when tested positive.

4       HCT educates people who tested negative on the ways to stay negative and for a positive test result, how to live positively without infecting others.

5       HCT provides critical information about HIV and the testing process.

6       HCT gives information about how HIV is transmitted and how the public can protect themselves from infection.

7       It also educates the public to know that HIV testing should be done regularly.

Finally, testing for HIV is the gateway to prevention, care and treatment.  HIV testing and counseling should be routine test for every Nigerians, as this is the surest way to guarantee an HIV free generation.