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 Home >> Integrated Counseling and Testing Centre

Integrated Counseling and Testing Centre (ICTCs)
HIV counselling and testing services were started in India in 1997, as two groups of centres – the Voluntary Counselling and Testing Centres (VCTC) and facilities providing Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS (PPTCT) services. Under NACP-III, VCTCs and facilities providing Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS (PPTCT) services are remodelled as a hub or ‘Integrated Counselling and Testing Centre’ (ICTC) to provide services to all clients under one roof. An ICTC is a place where a person is counselled and tested for HIV, of his own free will or as advised by a medical provider.

The main functions of an ICTC are:
  1. Conducting HIV diagnostic tests.
  2. Providing basic information on the modes of HIV transmission, and promoting behavioural change to reduce vulnerability.
  3. Link people with other HIV prevention, care and treatment services.
Ideally, a health facility should have one integrated counselling and testing centre for all groups of people. However, an ICTC may be located in facilities that serve specific categories such as pregnant women. Accordingly, an ICTC can be located in the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department of a medical college or a district hospital or in a maternity home where the majority of clients who access counselling and testing services are pregnant women. The justification for such a centre is the need for providing medical care to prevent HIV transmission from infected pregnant women to their infants. Similarly an ICTC can be located in a TB microscopy centre or in a TB sanatorium, where the majority of clients are TB patients. As TB is the most common co-infection in people with HIV, availability of HIV counselling and testing can help patients to diagnose their status early for accessing early treatment. An ICTC may also be located in the Microbiology or Pathology Departments of hospitals or medical colleges.

As of 2007, about 20% of the estimated HIV positive persons in Orissa have been detected through ICTCs. The challenge before OSACS is to make all HIV infected people in the state aware of their status so that they adopt a healthy lifestyle; access life-saving care and treatment and help prevent further transmission of HIV.

However, it is not the mandate of an ICTC to counsel and test everyone in the general population. The sub-populations that are more vulnerable or practice high risk behaviour or have higher HIV prevalence levels are the target group for counselling and testing services in the country.

HIV counselling and testing services are a key entry point to prevention of HIV infection and to treatment and care of people who are infected with HIV. When availing counselling and testing services, people can access accurate information about HIV prevention and care and undergo HIV test in a supportive and confidential environment. People who are found HIV negative are supported with information and counselling to reduce risks and remain HIV negative. People who are found HIV positive are provided psycho-social support and linked to treatment and care.

ICTCs provide HIV testing with pre-test & post test counseling; drugs for Opportunistic Infections; Free distribution of Condoms and Follow-up counseling for HIV +ve cases through field visits. These centres also provide HIV testing with pre-test & post test counseling to pregnant mothers who come for antenantal checkups. HIV+ve pregnant mothers are advised for institutional delivery. ICTC staff ensure that HIV+ve mothers coming to their institutions receive Nevirapine during delivery and the newborn baby receives it 2 hours after delivery to protect the new born from HIV infection. Delivery kits are supplied for the delivery of HIV+ve mothers and staffs are advised to follow the “Universal Safety Precautions”.

  Last Updated - May 15, 2013 - Best viewed with resolution 1024x768 px.
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