can Empower You!
We help you to keep you on your toes for your psychological health prior and after the HIV test. HIV Counselling is the gateway to treatment, care and support.
Pre Test Counselling
You go for Pre Test Counselling before you decide whether you want to have the HIV antibody test.
Some of the issues the counsellor will discuss with you are:
- Why did you decide to come for counselling
- What is counselling, and the role of the counsellor
- What is your personal history
- Whether you have any health problems
- What your risk of being HIV infected is
- Whether you have any other health problems
- What is your risk of being infected with HIV
- What do you know about HIV/AIDS
- Information about HIV/AIDS, including the test procedure and what people who are living with HIV can do to make sure that they stay healthy for as long as possible
- What are the alternatives for solving your problems
- Which are the issues you want to tackle first
- What impact do you think a positive, indeterminate or negative result would have on your life and how do you think you would react to receiving either result
- The advantages and disadvantages for you to having the test
- What kind of support system do you have including who would you be able to share with if you obtain a positive report
- How have you coped with problems in the past
Post Test Counselling
Post Test Counselling happens after you have had the test.
During the session the counsellor will:
- Give you your test result
- Allow you to express your feelings about being HIV antibody positive, negative or indeterminate.
- Help you to revisit all the issues that you have raised during the pre-test counselling session, including any plans that you may have made.
- Discuss any immediate problems with you and help you to decide on a plan of action for each problem
- Answer any questions that you may have and provide you with useful information
- Motivate you on how to live your life positively
- Give you positive information on available resources from your community to help you more
HIV antibody test results are never revealedover the phone.
You will only receive your result in person.
Ongoing HIV/AIDS Counselling
Ongoing counselling is the kind of counselling that happens after you have received your test result and it is positive. The aims of ongoing counselling are to:
- Help you to manage the impact of HIV on your own life, as well as the lives of everyone around you
- Help you to accept your result and live positively with HIV/AIDS
- Encourage you to take control of your health and take charge of your life
- Explore the advantages and disadvantages of revealing you status to other people
- Assist you in tackling your problems
- Provide emotional and psychological support
- Help you to strengthen your support system
- Help you to plan for the future
- Explore issues around death and dying
- Refer you to available community resources
HIV antibody test results are never revealed over the phone.
You will only receive your result in person.
People also ask
The Window Period
When HIV first gets into your body, your immune system recognizes it as harmful and makes special disease fighting cells called antibodies. Your body takes between 6 and 12 weeks to make these antibodies. The HIV antibody test looks for these special cells and not for HIV itself. If you have an HIV antibody test before your body has made these fighting cells, the test will be HIV antibody negative, even though HIV is in your body. This time when you have HIV in your body but your immune system has not made antibodies yet is known as the WINDOW PERIOD. It is important to remember that if you have HIV in your body, even if you have tested HIV antibody negative, you can still pass the virus onto someone else if you have unprotected sex. If you get tested after 12 weeks, your test will be HIV antibody positive. This will mean that you have HIV.
What kind of HIV antibody test will be used?
Some services use the ELISA HIV antibody test. A sample of blood will be taken from a vein in your arm. This sample will be sent to the nearest laboratory where the ELISA test will be conducted. The results take between one and three weeks.
Some HIV/AIDS counselling and testing sites use the Rapid HIV Test. If the test is a blood one, the tip of your finger will be pricked with a special kind of needle and a drop of blood squeezed out. Using a thin glass tube, the drop of blood will be put into a small window in the test strip. Drops of special fluid will be added to this test window to help the blood move up the length of the strip. The test result will be ready in 15 minutes.
“Every single person living with HIV is entitled to their rights to health and to be free from discrimination or any forms of inhumane and degrading treatment. The protection of these basic human rights is the cornerstone of an effective AIDS response and a pre-requisite for ending AIDS.”
President of MAC Executive Committee