Contraceptive Technology and Reproductive Health Series: Home Page Contraceptive Technology and Reproductive Health Series Back to FHI Website
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Introduction Contents Post-Test References Go To Presenter Info


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3

- Topics
- Introduction
- Objectives
- Approaches
- Laboratory
- Clinical
- Syndromic
- Syndromic
- Strengths
- Weaknesses
- Accuracy
- Genital Ulcer
- Algorithm
- Urethral
- Algorithm
- Vaginal
- Vaginitis
- Cervicitis
- Algorithms
- Algorithms
- Algorithms
- Abdominal
- Algorithm
- Algorithm
- Other Issues
- Treatment
- Screening
- The Four Cs
- Resources
> HIV Testing
- Vaccination
- Preliminary
- Summary


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Section 3 - STD Management

HIV Testing and Counseling

  • HIV infection status important to know

  • Antibody test can determine HIV status

  • Counseling can help change behavior

Source: Coates et al, 1998.
Slide 78

Laboratory tests for diagnosis of STDs are not available in many settings. However, having access to HIV testing is very important. By knowing one’s HIV infection status, a person can take precautions not to transmit this fatal infection to others.

There is often a long incubation period between being infected with HIV and developing symptoms of AIDS. Even when symptoms of AIDS are present, a person may not know if the symptoms are HIV-related. Therefore, testing is necessary to be sure if a person is HIV-infected.

HIV testing is usually based on an antibody test from a blood sample. If conducted at least six to eight weeks after exposure, the test generally reveals infection. Researchers are seeking a simple test that can be reliable sooner after infection occurs.

In some areas, offering voluntary testing and counseling for HIV infection has been a sensitive issue because a person known to be infected can experience negative consequences. Even so, these interventions are important. A study involving nearly 4,300 participants in Kenya, Tanzania and Trinidad found that people who received HIV counseling and testing were more likely to change their behavior than those who received only general health information. This was true for both those found to be infected and not infected. The study also found that people who perceive themselves at high risk of HIV infection want to be tested. Women in the study who were found to have HIV were more likely to experience break-up of their marriage or abuse by their partner, so measures to protect these women should be taken.



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