Reasons Why Pre And Post-HIV Counselling Are Important

You might be wondering why you should get pre and post counselling when home test kits are readily available. Receiving counselling encourages you to explore possible solutions to your results.

Why should I get tested for HIV?

Getting tested is the most important thing you can do for yourself and for others in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Knowing your status empowers you to make informed decisions. If you test negative, you will be able to adjust your sexual lifestyle to prevent future infections. If you are concerned about being HIV positive, testing will clarify these concerns. If you test positive, you will be able to prevent transmitting the virus to others.

What is Pre-test counselling?

Pre-test counselling is the counselling you get before taking an HIV test. The counsellor will ask you a few screening questions to see your readiness for the test and your knowledge about the virus. Here are some of the things the counsellor will discuss with you.

  • What motivated you to seek counselling?
  • What is counselling, and what is the role of the counsellor?
  • Can you tell me about your sexual history?
  • Do you have any health issues?
  • Information about HIV/AIDS, including the testing technique and what HIV-infected people may do to keep as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
  • How do you think a good, inconclusive, or negative result would affect your life, and how do you think you would respond if you received it?
  • What kind of support system do you have, and who would you inform if you tested HIV positive?

What is Post-test Counselling?

Post-test counselling is the counselling you get after the test. This is when the counsellor will go over some of the pointers in the pre-testing and will give you the results during this session. The counsellor will also give you the following information:

  • Give you your test result.
  • Give you information about various resources that can assist you if you test positive.
  • Assist you with revisiting the issues addressed during the pre-test counselling session and any plans you may have made.
  • Discuss any pressing issues and assist you in developing a plan of action.
  • Answer all of your questions and give you relevant information.
  • Discuss positive HIV living.
  • The results of HIV tests are never given over the phone. You can only receive your results in person.

Ongoing HIV/AIDS Counselling

Ongoing counselling is the kind of counselling that happens after you have received your test result. The aim of ongoing counselling is to encourage you to take control of your health and take charge of your life. Here you will be able to explore some themes that may arise if you are HIV+, such as:

  • Accepting your status
  • How to tell loved ones about your status
  • Plan for the future
  • Dealing with denial and strengthening your support system

Remember that even though you might feel like you don’t need it, counselling contributes greatly to accepting your status and becoming informed. The tools that you will gain from these sessions will help you and your loved ones navigate healthy living.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, an  Instagram message, a  Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).