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Voluntary HIV testing and model counselling centre--a pilot project.
George B
December 30, 1998
Int Conf AIDS. 1998;12:1025 (abstract no. 60139). Unique Identifier :

ISSUE: There was a felt need to establish a centre where free, voluntary HIV testing coupled with adequate counselling, would be available for the general population in the city of Delhi. PROJECT: Through a joint effort of 6 NGOs, National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), STD Department of Safdarjung Hospital and UNAIDS, a model counselling centre was set up in Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi. The counsellors were supplied by the NGOs on a daily basis to the model centre on all weekdays. Patients were referred from STD clinic, other departments in the hospital or came voluntarily for testing. All clients were given adequate pretest counselling in which knowledge about HIV/AIDS, STDs and proper condom usage, was imparted. Confidentiality was assured at all stages and HIV test was conducted only after written, consent Post test counselling was conducted after a period of one week in which test results were given to the client in addition to risk reduction information. HIV positive clients were provided psychological & emotional support along with support services, medical referrals and aftercare. Display of I.E.C. material, documentation, distribution of condoms, regular meeting between counsellors and clinicians and advocacy of the rights of HIV positives, were the other activities of the centre. RESULTS: 550 clients received counselling between 12/5/97 and 31/12/97. 450 clients gave their consent for the test out of which 425 HIV tests were conducted and 40 tested positive. Patients who wanted voluntary HIV test numbered 125 (22%), rest being referrals. Clinic attenders were predominantly young, adult, married males; mean age--24.1 years belonging to lower socioeconomic class. The most favoured route of transmission of HIV was through sexual contact (31/40), followed by injecting dry use (4/40) and vertical transmission (4/40). Voluntary HIV testing & counselling centre has set high standards in counselling, support & after care services for HIV positives, discrimination of information to general population and is a model for similar centres all over the country.

MEETING ABSTRACTS Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/PREVENTION & CONTROL/ TRANSMISSION Adult *AIDS Serodiagnosis *Community Health Centers *Counseling Female Health Education Health Services Needs and Demand Human HIV Infections/PREVENTION & CONTROL/TRANSMISSION India Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice Male Pilot Projects Sexually Transmitted Diseases/PREVENTION & CONTROL/TRANSMISSION *Urban Health *Voluntary Health Agencies