HIV Testing and Counselling

HTC is a critical entry point to both HIV prevention and treatment. It ensures a person knows their sero-status and is able to adapt their behaviour accordingly, by improving their prevention behaviour and accessing appropriate treatment if needed. In the long term, Zambia is recommending universal access to testing for HIV for adults, guided by the National HTC Implementation Plan 2014-2016.

To achieve prevention and treatment results, it is essential that HTC reaches all higher risk and key populations, including patients attending health services and especially STI clients and un-well children and teens. HTC services need to achieve outreach into epidemic hotspots such as informal settlements, with services particularly strengthened in regions where HIV prevalence is highest and where most new infections are occurring, particularly among young people. Creating linkages between HTC and comprehensive youth friendly prevention and treatment services for young people is needed, with appropriate messaging and counselling tools and regional testing days including a youth focus. Reaching men and reaching couples are both challenging and important concerns. Key populations will need
targeted interventions with appropriate messaging and prevention and treatment linkages.