Planning, implementing, and monitoring home-based HIV testing and counselling; a practical handbook for Sub-Saharan Africa
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Planning, implementing, and monitoring home-based HIV testing and counselling; a practical handbook for Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      Practical handbook for Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Description:
      Home-based HIV testing and counselling (HBHTC) refers to HIV testing and counselling (HTC) services conducted by trained HTC service providers in someone's home. The main purpose of HBHTC is to bring HTC services to households, overcoming some of the barriers of access to testing services and providing testing to individuals who might not otherwise seek services. It has been_used successfully in rural and urban populations of sub-Saharan Africa with a high HIV prevalence and low coverage of HTC services. HBHTC provides services to individuals, couples, and family groups, and may be used to address specific populations (e.g. family members of known HIV-positive patients) and contribute to a family-based approach to HIV prevention and support. Using this approach can lead to decreased stigma in communities, help to diagnose individuals who are HIV-positive earlier, and potentially reach more couples than other HTC models. HBHTC has also led to increased follow-up for HIV-exposed infants.
    • Content Notes:
      [Miriam Taegtmeyer].

      The work was funded by: the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the PEPFAR technical working group on HIV testing and counselling.

      The main writer of this document was Dr Miriam Taegtmeyer of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. The work was coordinated by Kristina Grabbe (CDC, Atlanta), Vincent Wong (USAID, Washington), and Rachel Baggaley, F. Amolo Okero, and Ying-ru Lo (HIV/ AIDS Department, WHO, Geneva).

      On cover: logos for World Health Organization, PEPFAR, Centers for Disease and Prevention, USAID, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

      This handbook was first conceived of at a 2009 PEPFAR technical consultation on HBHTC [Home-based counseling and testing: program components and approaches. Technical consultation report. Washington, DC, AIDSTAR-One/USAID, 2010.]. Shortly thereafter, a survey, sent to PEPFAR HTC focal persons in 33 countries, identified 39 partners implementing HBHTC programmes in 10 sub-Saharan African countries in early 2011. Research revealed that the majority of countries surveyed lacked specific guidance for HBHTC. Although some country programmes had developed local operational manuals and guidance documents, there were no unified guidelines in place and no standard quality of implementation. As a result, HTC service providers were often left to develop their own solutions for challenging situations. this practical handbook was developed by WHO in collaboration with the PEPFAR HIV testing and counselling technical Working group (HTC TWG) in 2011, as a response to that problem. This handbook draws on existing guidelines, training and operational manuals, key informant interviews, observed practices, and site visits to HBHTC programmes. the authors specifically sought inputs and experiences of HTC service providers, supervisors, and programme managers using different community-based models, particularly focusing on offering testing in the home in different epidemic settings across Africa, for the development of these materials.

      Issued by: World Health Organization, Department of HIV/AIDS.

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