24.1 Benefits and barriers of HIV testing
24.1.1 The benefits of HIV testing
There are several benefits of HIV testing. Firstly, it allows people infected with HIV to gain early access to HIV treatment and care; secondly, it encourages those tested to reduce their high-risk behaviour and avoid transmission to partners; thirdly, it helps HIV-negative people to develop a plan to remain negative; and lastly, it allows couples where one or both is HIV-positive to choose appropriate family planning methods to reduce the risk of infection.
High-risk behaviour in the context of HIV/AIDS refers mainly to sexual intercourse without the use of a condom (see Study Session 25).
In Ethiopia, HIV counselling and testing sites are a key entry point for HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services. It is important for individuals and couples to learn about their HIV status and make informed decisions about their future.