4 Easy Steps for Voluntary Counseling and Testing for HIV/AIDSVCT is a 4 step process to know your status and prevents you from spreading the virus to the general population. It is voluntary!
You need to know your status and undergo VCT or Voluntary Counseling and Testing for HIV/AIDS immediately, if you have at least one history of risky sexual behavior such as:
- Unprotected sexual contact with a stranger or somebody you know has HIV/AIDS
- Had sex with multiple partners
- Had sex with injecting drug users (IDUs) or shared a needle with an injecting drug user
VCT is a 4 step process to know your status and prevents you from spreading the virus to the general population. It is voluntary! You have to be sure and decide that you want to be tested and are willing to go to a testing center, be counseled and have your blood extracted for testing. If you’re a minor you need your legal guardian to be with you. If you’re a minor and have no guardian you have to be with a DSWD social worker to be with you. Or the health staff in the testing center will find a social worker for you. So you are sure you want to be tested? Follow these steps:
Step 1. Go to the nearest testing center which has two types: community based and hospital based. All cities and municipalities in the Philippines operate a Social Hygiene Clinic (SHC). This is the primary health facility in the community that caters to STI treatment and HIV/AIDS prevention. They are located almost always together with the city health office or municipal health office of your local government. Some SHCs in LGUs use different names like Reproductive Health and Social Hygiene or Women and Men Center for Disease Control or STI Clinic etc. Be sure to ask around and know what you are looking for. Almost all public hospitals offers VCT for free and some private hospitals and clinics also offer them for a fee.
Step 2. Once you are inside the facility and informed the health staff you want to be tested for HIV you will be interviewed and undergo pre-test counseling on HIV/AIDS, STI and reproductive health and will be asked to sign a consent form if you agree and decide to have your blood extracted and get tested.
If you decide not to get tested after the counseling session, that’s it you’re free to go.
Step 3. So you decided to get tested. That’s good. Relax and wait for the health service provider to extract you blood. If it’s a rapid test, you will be asked to wait for an hour or two otherwise they will just inform you of the results the next day so be sure to leave your contact details clearly and legibly in the consent forms.
Step 4: Once your results are out you will be asked to return to the facility for post-test counseling to explain your results and what you need to do if it turns out positive. If it’s a positive you will be recommended to be enrolled in the ART Registry for anti-retro viral therapy as treatment to prevent your status into developing into AIDS. If it’s a negative please practice safe sex!!!!
If you have symptoms such as excessive rashes on any part of your body, warts or puss growing in any part your body especially the genital area, difficulty or burning sensation in urinating or blood in the urine you may have an STI. You will undergo the same counseling process except for blood extraction and testing but you will be evaluated, diagnosed and be treated right away for free!!!
If you need testing or treatment for HIV, you can search for HIV Treatment Centers near you by using our HEALTH FACILITY LOCATOR. Simply input your location, then select “HIV Treatment Center” and click on the search button. The results will show the treatment centers within a 10 kilometer radius from your location.