Integrating Voluntary HIV Counseling and Testing Into Reproductive Care, UN Population Fund and the International Planned Parenthood Foundation (2004)

White Papers and Reports

This guide aims to provide sexual and reproductive health program planners, managers, and providers with the information necessary to integrate voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) for HIV within their services. VCT is not merely the simple assent to testing, but rather "the process by which an individual undergoes confidential counselling to enable the individual to make an informed choice about learning his or her HIV status and to take appropriate action." Counseling for VCT consists of pre-test, post-test, and follow-up counseling. VCT is a human-rights based approach to HIV testing and treatment that enables patients to make informed decisions; it has been shown to be an effective strategy to facilitate behavior change for HIV prevention, as well as to reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV. The guide discusses the benefits of VCT and the barriers to implementation, and provides specific steps for each stage of implementing VCT, including the initial assessment of community need, planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. The guide was produced by the United Nations Population Fund and the International Planned Parenthood Foundation.