LIFE DRAMA

The Life Drama Project makes use of applied theatre & performance techniques to promote sexual health & wellbeing in Papua New Guinea, the Pacific and Northern Australia.

VCT and other treatment centres

1.3.4 VCT and other treatment centres

Testing for HIV is available through Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) centres. At the VCT clinic, the patient will receive Pre-Test Counselling. Then a Rapid HIV Test is performed, using a small blood sample (finger-prick). Result are available in 15-20 minutes.

Whether the result is positive or negative, the patient will receive Post-Test Counselling. A positive test result will need to be confirmed with another test. If the second test is also positive, the person has a confirmed diagnosis of HIV. Counselling will be provided, regarding further testing to determine CD4 count and viral load, and the options for care and treatment.

If the test is negative, a further test is required in 3 months’ time to confirm that the patient does not have HIV. This is because there is a “window” between the time the person becomes infected with HIV, and the time HIV antibodies can be detected in a blood sample. The person will need to avoid any opportunity for HIV infection (eg. unprotected sex) between the first and second tests.

Whether the test is positive or negative, the patient will receive Post-Test Counselling regarding the test results, HIV transmission and prevention, and maintaining good health.