24.3  Step 1:  How to recommend HIV testing

Diagnostic testing is part of the clinical process of determining the HIV status of a sick person whom you suspect may be infected with HIV. If the person presents with symptoms consistent with HIV infection, explain that they will be tested for HIV as part of their clinical check-up.

The following is an example of how a trained health worker might recommend a diagnostic HIV test:

‘As you told me, you have diarrhoea that has lasted three months and you have lost a lot of weight. I want to find out why. In order for us to diagnose and treat your illness, you need a test for HIV infection. Unless you object, I will conduct this test.’

Below is an example of how to make a routine offer for HIV testing:

‘One of our guidelines is to offer everyone the opportunity to have an HIV test, so that we can provide you with care and treatment while you are here and refer you for follow-up afterwards. Unless you object, I will conduct this test and provide you with counselling and the result.’

A routine offer is made to sexually active people regardless of their initial reason for seeking medical attention.

24.2.1  The five steps in PITC

24.4  Step 2:  Pre-test counselling, confidentiality and informed consent