27.4 Steps in the HIV testing process
The steps involved in HIV testing were fully explained in Study Session 24, and will only be touched upon briefly here. You will recall that the key steps are:
- Provide pre-test counselling and education.
- Obtain verbal or written consent.
- Obtain a blood test sample; at health-post level, you take a finger-prick blood sample or venous blood.
- Process the sample using the nationally recommended rapid HIV test procedures.
- Obtain and interpret results.
- Keep results and all information confidential.
- Provide results to the client.
- Provide post-test counselling, support, and referral.
As part of this process, as mentioned earlier, you will also need to provide essential information on PMTCT. You should also discuss safer sexual practices, the importance of disclosure of the test result, and partner testing.