Project BORDERNET 2005-2007

III. CROSS-BORDER COOPERATION — 3.5. HIV Voluntary testing and counselling

HIV Voluntary Counselling and Testing

As internationally defined and promoted by WHO/UNAIDS in the last decade the HIV Testing with its 3 “Cs”: confidential, accompanied by counselling; conducted with informed consent marks evidently the policy direction in the global response to the AIDS pandemic.


Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) for HIV is the process by which an individual undergoes a counselling enabling her/him to cope with the stress caused by the issue of AIDS and HIV testing and to make an informed choice whether to get tested for HIV or not.


Based on this definition good practice standards and recommendations were elaborated for the public health practitioners offering HIV VCT services. Though internationally applied those guidelines have still not been satisfactorily reflected and integrated in the various practice settings in the old and new EC member states, where HIV test is being offered. The situations study with regards to HIV/STIs during the Rapid Assessment and Response (RAR) phase in the BORDERNET pilot regions confirmed certain (at some places considerable) discrepancies between European best and existing local practices.


Problems such as limited offers of free of charge HIV test, insufficient testing among certain target groups (e.g. pregnant women, sex workers, persons without health insurance ), lack or insufficient counselling accompanying the test describe the realities in more than one of the regions.


Therefore the need to carry out a further analysis and to identify the gaps and improvement/action priorities faced by the practitioners themselves turns out as a relevant step in the process of synchronization of those services in the border regions. The list of items proposed below will support the situation analysis, outlining several key areas of study interest and structuring individual questions for focus group discussion or individual interview/case study description.

Survey on HIV VCT - questionnaire download

Survey on HIV VCT - draft results download