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The Importance of VCT as an HIV Management Step

VCT is voluntary counseling and testing or can be interpreted as voluntary HIV counseling and testing (KTS). This service aims to help prevent, treat and treat HIV / AIDS sufferers. VCT can be done at the health center or hospital or clinic providing VCT services. HIV / AIDS is still a significant global health problem, especially in developing countries. The existence of VCT is very instrumental in preventing the spread of the disease.

Stages and Process in VCT

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a VCT guide that is useful in detecting and managing HIV globally. The guideline is then applied in various countries, especially developing countries. In principle, VCT is confidential and voluntary. This means that it is only done at the initiative and approval of someone who comes to the VCT service provider for inspection. The results of the examination were kept confidential. After signing the written agreement, the VCT can be carried out immediately. The main processes in handling HIV / AIDS through VCT are as follows:
  • Pre-Test Counseling Stage

  • This stage is carried out providing information about HIV and AIDS. Then the counselor starts the discussion and the client is expected to honestly tell about previous activities that are suspected of being at risk of exposure to the HIV virus, such as work or daily activities, history of sexual activity, injecting drug use, having received blood transfusions or organ transplants, having tattoos and a history of previous illnesses.
  • HIV testing

  • After the client gets clear information through pre-test counseling, the counselor will explain the tests that can be done, and ask for client approval for an HIV test. After obtaining written approval, the test can be carried out. If the test results are available, the test results will be given directly (face to face) by the counselor.
  • Post-Test Counseling Stages

  • After receiving the test results, the client will undergo the post counseling stage. If the test results are negative, the counselor will still provide an understanding of the importance of reducing the risk of HIV / AIDS. For example, having sex more safely and using condoms. However, if the test results are positive, the counselor will provide emotional support so that the patient does not get discouraged. The counselor will also provide information about the next steps that can be taken, such as treatment and treatment that needs to be undertaken. Including how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, as well as how not to infect others.
In the following stages, the role of the counselor is to better support and build mental patients to stay alive, and also help with general medical care. In addition, counselors will also advise clients to encourage sexual partners to be examined.

Benefits of Doing VCT

HIV / AIDS infection must be watched out for, because HIV infection does not have clear initial symptoms, so without sufficient knowledge the spread of HIV will be increasingly difficult to avoid. Therefore, VCT needs to be done as an initial step to immediately get information about HIV, also so that HIV sufferers can be detected as early as possible and get the health care needed. This is very helpful as an HIV / AIDS prevention and control measure. Although there is no treatment that can completely eradicate HIV / AIDS, it should not be discouraged because antiretroviral (ARV) treatment is available to suppress the development of the HIV virus in the patient's body, so as to improve the quality of life and endurance of people with HIV infection so can move as usual. The majority of people who experience HIV / AIDS are young children. With a variety of main causes, such as risky sexual behavior that is often changing sexual partners and not using condoms as a safety, piercing / tattoos, or using drugs through syringes. For all groups, especially starting from adolescence, education and understanding of HIV / AIDS need to be held to avoid activities that trigger the disease. No need to be afraid to undergo VCT, this step can actually help increase knowledge about HIV / AIDS prevention and treatment. It can also help to further reduce stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV / AIDS (PLWHA).

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