Journal Article

Impact of Counseling in Voluntary Counseling and Testing Programs for Persons at Risk for or Living with HIV Infection

David Holtgrave and Jean McGuire

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 45, issue Supplement_4, pages S240-S243
Published in print December 2007 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online December 2007 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/522544
Impact of Counseling in Voluntary Counseling and Testing Programs for Persons at Risk for or Living with HIV Infection

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Persons with or at risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection need client-centered counseling and information about the disease. One of the best opportunities to provide counseling and information is during an HIV testing encounter. New testing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourage less counseling before and after testing. We review the evidence regarding voluntary counseling and testing (VCT). There is clear endorsement in peer-reviewed scientific journals for VCT as part of an evidence-based bundle of interventions to prevent HIV infection. For persons who test seropositive, VCT has an impact, but it is hard to uncouple the impact of counseling from that of testing. For persons who test seronegative, counseling in clinical settings has a beneficial impact on risk behaviors and sexually transmitted disease incidence and costs very little to implement. In settings where “typical” counseling is not up to client-centered counseling standards, it should be improved, not abandoned, but we may need to recruit community service organizations and nonclinicians in the health care system to achieve this aim.

Journal Article.  2531 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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