UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND, JOHANNESBURG

Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT)

What is VCT?

VCT is an acronym for the Voluntary Counselling and Testing service which is offered to students on campus. The testing process is outlined below and is intensely encouraged as this is the most certain way to guarantee your HIV status.Campus Health and Wellness Centre offers a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL service; providing rapid hiv counselling and testing. A counsellor will answer any questions that you may have regarding your status. Ongoing support is offered by trained therapist at the Counselling and Careers Development Unit (CCDU).

VOLUNTARY

The process is purely voluntary and one should not feel coerced to undergo an HIV test. Strong emotions may accompany an individual’s choice to have a test done; these are explored throughout the process. If at any stage the individual feels that he/she may no longer want to continue with the test, the individual can opt out. This may mean that the individual may no longer have the test done or may choose not to receive the test results. 

COUNSELLING

Pre-test Counselling: There is a strong counseling component to the process of VCT and this starts with the initially pre-test counseling. This phase prepares the client for the possible outcomes of the test and possible emotional responses. This is also a very factual focus on HIV/AIDS; looking at risk factors, exposure and positive living etc.Post-test Counseling’s offered after the test. Again the test results (positive or negative ) is released in a supportive counseling context. The results are given exploring what they mean to the individual, what is the impact of the results and whether or not the person will share the results with someone and who that person might be, etc. It will also explore the option of confirmatory tests if positive or re-testing after a 3 month period (window period) to validate a negative result.

TESTING

The test used is called a rapid test which in itself can take about 5-10 minutes. It requires a few droplets of blood which is obtained from one of you fingertips through a pinprick. The blood is then fed into a testing kit and the results obtained after a few minutes. The pain/amount of blood required is very minimal. The knowledge of a confirmed HIV status (again negative or positive) far outweighs any reason for not wanting to test, including the fear of needles.

Where can I test?

Like most community clinics, Campus Health will do the rapid test for free. Visit their offices at the matrix basement or look out for regular mobile testing campaigns around campus. Should you require additional information around HIV and AIDS or are in need of therapy, please visit the CCDU, West campus, opp. Chamber of Mines.

It is not always easy to come in for an HIV test, but remember: Not knowing that you are positive, doesn’t change the fact that you are living with the virus. All it means is that you are not doing anything to protect your loved ones, and your future.Not knowing you are negative means that you are stressing over something that is not even there, when you could be celebrating your future.

Test today . . . . Ensure your tomorrow!


For more information on VCT please visit the following links: