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HIV/AIDS COUNSELLING AND TESTING

VCT stands for voluntary counseling and testing.  VCT is when a person chooses to undergo HIV/AIDS counseling so that they can make an informed decision about whether to be tested for HIV.  The government is encouraging all of us to come forward to be tested for HIV.  it believes that if many of us get tested, even though we may not be sick, this will help to lessen the amount of stigma associated with the HIV test.  Also, if we find out at an earlier stage, that we are infected with HIV, we can

  • Learn more about the virus and how it affects our body.
  • Look after our health so that we stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
  • Get information and counseling around how to live positively with the virus.  This means learning to accept the fact that we are HIV-infected, seeking emotional support, eating a healthy diet, learning how to control the amount of stress in our life, making sure we don’t become re-infected, and planning for the future.
  • Learn to recognize the signs of opportunistic infections so we can get them treated promptly.
  • Find out what resources are available within our community to help us manage our HIV status.
  • Find out about prophylatic drugs.  These drugs do not cure HIV/AIDS, but can prevent us from getting some opportunistic infections that are common with people living with HIV/AIDS eg. T.B and some kinds of Pneumonia
  • Access Nevirapne.  This is a drug available at a number of hospitals and clinics that lessens the chance of a pregnant mother passing the virus onto her baby.
  • Get emotional support by seeking counseling and joining support groups.
  • Make sure that we don’t infect anyone else or get re-infected ourselves
  • Learn how to manage the stress in our lives
  • If we are not infected with HIV, VCT can motivate us to stay HIV antibody negative, and to accept those who are infected.

 

Opportunistic Infections

These are the kind of infections  that your body would normally be able to control if your immune system was strong.  Unfortunately, when HIV destroys your immune system, these diseases flourish.  They are called opportunistic because if your immune system was strong, they would not be able to flourish.  Some examples are thrush of the mouth and TB.

 

Counseling can empower you

Counseling is a private conversation with a specially trained person aimed at helping you to help yourself.  Counseling encourages you to explore possible solutions to your problems, and to consider the impact that certain decision may have on your life.  HIV/AIDS counseling provided at VCT sites is free and confidential.  This means that the Counselor cannot tell anyone about your result without your permission.  You must receive face-to-face counseling before you have the test.  This is known as pre-test counseling, and is aimed at ensuring that you make a well-informed decision about whether to have the HIV test or not, and encourages you to explore the possible impact that having the test may have on your life. Once the test has been done, you will receive post-test counseling.  This is the counseling during which you will receive your result. The counseling that you may have once you already know your result is known as on-going counseling.

See also  COMMON SOCIAL PROBLEMS IN NIGERIA

 

Evaluation

  1. What is the full meaning of VCT?
  2. What is the meaning of VCT?

 

CARE AND SUPPORT FOR HIV/AIDS PERSON

  1. Spend time with the person living with HIV/AIDS. Discuss the foods they need to maintain and gain weight and manage their illness. Get to know what kind of foods they like and do not like. Involve them in planning their meals.
  2. Keep an eye on their weight. If possible, weigh them regularly and keep a record. Look out for any unexpected weight loss and take action.
  3. Check the medicines they are taking. Read the instructions to find out when they need to be taken, what foods to be avoided and any side-effects.
  4. Be encouraging and loving. If people want to have food of their choice at any time of the day, try to get it for them. They may suddenly stop liking a food, refuse what has been prepared and want something different. They are not trying to be difficult. These sudden changes in taste are a result of their illness.
  5. Be firm about the importance of eating and encourage them to eat frequently, but do not force them to eat. Giving them too much food at one time may cause them to refuse.
  6. If they are too sick to leave their beds, make sure that they have something to drink and a snack nearby.
  7. Keep a watchful eye. Look around to see if the house is clean, that there are no hygiene problems and there is enough food.
  8. If the sick person lives alone, invite them to join your family for a meal. Encourage others in the community to visit them and invite them out.
  9. Carers will have their own concerns and worries, fears for the future, for their families and for their own health. It is important that they take care of themselves, get enough rest and have the appropriate information and support to carry out their difficult task. The important messages given below cannot be emphasized enough.

 

HIV/AIDS are not spread by the following

  • HIV/AIDS is not spread by food or water.
  • HIV/AIDS cannot be spread by sharing food, dishes or cooking utensils such as cups, plates, knives and forks with a person who is HIV positive.
  • HIV/AIDS cannot be spread by touching another person, hugging, shaking hands or holding other people in a normal way. There is no need to avoid body contact with a person living with HIV/AIDS.

 

Evaluation

  1. State five care and support for HIV?AIDS
  2. Mention five ways by which HIV/AIDS are not transmitted.

 

MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT HIV/AIDS

One person passes HIV to another under certain circumstances. Understanding the facts rather than buying into lingering myths about transmission can prevent misinformation — and HIV —from spreading.

  1. Transmission through body fluids

HIV is transmitted through certain body fluids that are capable of containing high concentrations of HIV antibodies. These fluids include blood, semen, vaginal and rectal secretions, and breast milk.

  • HIV is transmitted when fluids from an infected person (HIV positive) pass through the mucous membranes, cuts, or open sores of a noninfected person (HIV negative).
  • Amniotic and spinal cord fluids can also contain the HIV virus and may be a risk to healthcare personnel who are exposed to them. Other bodily fluids, such as tears and saliva, cannot spread the infection unless they are mixed with fluids that can.
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  1. The anatomy of transmission
  • Vaginal sex is one mode of HIV transmission. There have been reported cases of HIV transmission via oral sex. However, anal sex presents the highest risk of transmission among sexual activity. Bleeding is more likely during anal sex due to the fragile tissues that line the anus. This allows the virus to enter the body more easily.
  • HIV can also be spread from mother to child in utero and through breastfeeding. Any circumstances in which you are exposed to the blood of someone who is HIV positive can be a risk factor. This includes sharing needles for intravenous drug use or getting a tattoo with contaminated instruments. Safety regulations generally prevent blood transfusion-related infection.

 

  1. Blood banks are safe

The risk of being infected with HIV from a blood transfusion is now extremely rare in the United States. The Public Health Service started testing all donated blood for HIV in 1985, after medical personnel realized that donated blood could be a source of HIV infection. Tests that are more sophisticated were put into place in the 1990s to further ensure the safety of donated blood. Blood donations that test positive for HIV are safely discarded and do not enter the U.S. blood supply.

 

  1. Casual contact and kissing

Many people are afraid that casual contact or kissing someone who has HIV can spread the infection. The virus doesn’t live on the skin and can’t live very long outside the body. Therefore, casual contact, such as holding hands, hugging, or sitting next to someone who is HIV positive, doesn’t transmit the virus. Closed-mouth kissing isn’t a threat either. Open-mouthed kissing can be a risk factor when blood is involved, such as from bleeding gums or mouth sores. Saliva may contain small amounts of viral load, but not enough to transmit the virus.

 

  1. Biting, scratching, and spitting

Scratching and spitting aren’t transmission methods for HIV. A scratch doesn’t lead to an exchange of bodily fluids. However, you can protect yourself with gloves to prevent the accidental exposure to infected blood when drawing blood from someone who is infected with HIV.

A bite that doesn’t break the skin can’t transmit infection either. However, a bite that opens the skin and causes bleeding can.

 

General Evaluation

  1. Mention five myths and facts about HIV/AIDS
  2. State five care and support for HIV/AIDS.
  3. Mention five ways by which HIV/AIDS are not transmitted?
  4. What is the full meaning of VCT?
  5. What is the meaning of VCT?

 

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

  1. VCT stands for——– A. voluntary counseling and testing B. vision complain test
  2. ventilated capacitated test D. Vent cum tone.
  3. ——–sex presents the highest risk of transmission among sexual activity. A. Anal
  4. Oral C. Canal D. Sucking.
  5. ———-is a private conversation with a specially trained person aimed at helping you to help yourself. A. Counseling B. Testing C. Observing D. Patient orientation
  6. ———are the kind of infections  that your body would normally be able to control if your immune system was strong. A. Opportunistic Infections B. HIV/AIDS C. Influenza D. None
  7. ——— is a drug available at a number of hospitals and clinics that lessens the chance of a pregnant mother passing the virus onto her baby. A. Nevirapne.  B. Nevadan
  8. Neiva  D. Nevira

 

THEORY

  1. Mention five ways by which HIV/AIDS are not transmitted.
  2. What is the full meaning of VCT?

 

See also

HIV/AIDS

SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS

IMPLICATION OF TENAGE PREGNANCY

HUMAN REPRODUCTION

HUMAN REPRODUCTION

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