Guideline Detail

National HIV Counselling and Testing Policy Guidelines

Source: South Africa National Department of Health
Publication Date: January 1, 2010

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2010 recommendations aimed at providing core requirements and guidance to ensure the delivery of standardised, high-quality, and ethical HIV counselling and testing services; outlining different types of HIV counselling and testing approaches for different circumstances and target groups; ensuring compliance with a legal and human rights approach to HIV counselling and testing; expanding access to HIV counselling and testing beyond formal healthcare settings into community, private sector, and non-healthcare environments; and ensuring appropriate referral to treatment. Topics addressed include: circumstances in which HIV testing takes place; individuals or couples wanting to know their statuses; clinical diagnosis; research and other screening purposes; domestic violence and rape; abandoned babies/children; medical male circumcision; types of HIV counselling and testing; client-initiated counselling and testing; provider-initiated counselling and testing; HIV counselling process; pretest counselling; posttest counselling; recommended HIV testing algorithm; issuing written confirmation of HIV test results; frequency of testing; core ethical principles related to counselling, informed consent, illiteracy or inability to write, inability to make a decision, appropriateness, confidentiality and privacy, shared confidentiality, nondiscrimination, and infection control; HIV testing and counselling for children, including circumstances in which a child may be tested, counselling before and after testing, consent, and confidentiality; HIV testing and counselling for infants, including testing infants younger than 18 months, testing abandoned babies, testing infants aged 18 months or older, and children not identified by prevention of mother-to-child transmission programme; HIV counselling and testing for child survivors of sexual assault and mandatory reporting of abuse; HIV counselling and testing of young people, pregnant women, healthcare providers, workers exposed to HIV, survivors of sexual assault, alleged sexual offenders, and male and female prisoners; basic requirements for quality assurance; communication and social mobilisation; importance of monitoring and evaluating the HIV testing and counselling programme; monitoring and evaluation objectives; reporting requirements; data management; information flow; and roles and responsibilities.

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Keywords: HIV - Correctional Settings, HIV - Diagnosis, HIV - Paediatric/Adolescent Patients, HIV - Pregnancy, HIV - Resource-Limited Settings, HIV - Special Populations, HIV - Women