TODAY -

E-Pao! Drug Awareness Education - Counselling and HIV/AIDS Testing

Counselling and HIV/AIDS Testing
- Part 1 -

Elam Saratchandra Singh *



HIV/AIDS is a lifelong disease which to date has no exact cure or vaccine. In addition, lack of a healthy non-judgemental and non-discriminatory environment has resulted in isolation, victimisation and breach of fundamental rights of the infected and affected people living with the virus in respect of denial of equal rights and dignity, property inheritance, right to education, treatment and other basic things among others including denial of basic medical services to people with HIV infection, instances of which are often being witnessed in the country.

HIV/AIDS counselling can help people in accessing correct information and scientific knowledge about HIV/AIDS and policies, assessing risks, making appropriate behavioural changes, leading to protection of self and others. This will help in developing coping mechanism in people with HIV infection. Counselling can lead to empowerment and raise individual consciousness and can make individual take responsibility for their own behaviour.

Counselling is a process where one person, explicitly and purposefully, gives his/her time, attention and skills to assist a client to explore their situation, identity and act upon solutions within the limitations of their given environment. In simple terms, counselling is a process in which two people meet and have a dialogue to resolve a crises, solve a problem or make decisions involving highly personal and intimate matters and behaviours.

WHO (World Health Organisation) defines HIV/AIDS counselling as a dialogue between a client and a care provider aimed at enabling the client to cope with stress and to take personal decisions relating to HIV/AIDS. The counselling process includes the evaluation of personal risk of HIV transmission and the facilitation of preventive behaviour.

HIV/AIDS counselling is mandatory for providing voluntary HIV testing services. This is so because diagnosis of HIV in an otherwise healthy individual induces a series of psychological reactions like denial, anger, anxiety, depression, to finally acceptance.

So far, there is no successful cure or appropriate vaccine available for HIV infection. In order that the individual to be able to accept the infective status, carry on with life, plan future, prevent transmission and continue to function as a useful member of community, counselling is a must.

Counselling induces a positive attitude and high life force in the individual helping him to carry on as before in spite of the HIV infection. HIV/AIDS counselling is mandatory (pre and post-test) as laid down by WHO/UNAIDS. Government of India is also actively emphasising the necessity of HIV counselling.

The objectives of HIV/AIDS counselling include:

  1. Prevention of HIV infection by changing life styles and behaviours (primary prevention)
  2. Providing psychological support to those already infected and
  3. Motivating for chan-ge in high-risk behaviour (Secondary Prevention)

HIV/AIDS counselling is recommended for the following groups of people.
  1. Persons already identified as having AIDS or being infected with HIV and their families.
  2. Those being tested for HIV (Pre and Post test)
  3. Those seeking help because of past or current risk behaviour and planning their future and
  4. Those not seeking help but practising high-risk behaviour.

HIV/AIDS counselling can be provided in any setting including hospital wards, STD clinics, ANC clinics, family planning clinics, VCCTC & PPTCT centres in Govt hospitals/district hospitals, health facility centres, blood donation centres, TB Dots centres, drug de-addiction centres, prisons, primary/secondary health centres and community based programmes.

HIV/AIDS counselling can be provided by any one who has a sympathe-tic ear, can give time to listen, has knowledge of accurate scientific facts abo-ut HIV/AIDS and undergoes systematic and periodic training in counselling.

In addition to docto-rs, nurses, psychologists, psychotherapist and soci-al workers, even teachers, community and peer leaders, youth and self help groups and even selected individuals can undertake preventive and supportive counselling.

Types of counselling include:
  1. Pre test,
  2. Post test-positive, negative and indeterminate results,
  3. Follow up,
  4. General and
  5. Family.
Some of the main contents of preventive HIV counselling include:
  1. Determine whether the behaviour of an individual or group of individuals involve a high-risk behaviour which can lead to HIV infection.
  2. Work with individuals to make them understand the risks and acknowledge the risks associated with their behaviour.
  3. Define and discuss with them how their life, attitude/values and self-image is linked to these behaviour.
  4. Help individuals to define their potential for attitude shifts, behaviour modification and change and
  5. Work with individuals to introduce and sustain the modified behaviour.
Counselling is more focused, specific and goal targeted and involve personal problem solving in the individual client which is useful not only for giving information but also for changing attitudes and motivating behaviour change. It differs from health education which is much more generalized in nature and is used mostly for information sharing only.

Counselling evokes strong emotions in both counsellor and client but health education sessions are emotionally neutral in nature.

Pre-requisites of counselling include:
  1. Time and availability of counsellor
  2. Acceptance of the activity by counsellor
  3. Easy accessibility to counselling
  4. Aptitude for maintenance of confidentiality
  5. Correct knowledge and information about HIV /AIDS and policies etc and
  6. Consistency in counselling.
While providing counselling services to patients with HIV infection, the following messages are to be emphasised:
  1. Drugs do not cure HIV disease, but convert it into a manageable chronic ailment.
  2. Drug treatment has to be taken life long.
  3. Drug treatment improves the longevity and quality of life.
  4. Patients remain infective and must practice safe sex even while on ARV treatment.
  5. Drug treatment should be taken only from certified practitioners.
  6. Drug should be taken according to prescription only.
  7. Drugs should not be shared with relatives/friends.
  8. If there are adverse effects with drugs, then consult the doctor and
  9. If NACO/SACS supplied drugs are available in the market, it should be reported.
The counsellor should be trained in HIV/AIDS counselling before placement and they should fulfil the qualification criteria as per the guidelines of NACO.

The counsellors will be specially trained in counselling issues on the following specific areas:
  1. Disclosure
  2. Discrimination and stigma.
  3. Dealing with the impact of emotional reactions including shock, denial, depression, anger, fear, guilt, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.
  4. Disease progression,
  5. Changes in physical appearance
  6. Deterioration in health
  7. Death and dying
  8. Loss and grief
  9. Dealing with relationship - partners, family, friends.
  10. Financial difficulties and employment.
  11. Treatment issues particularly to adherence and side effects.
  12. Interventions for psychological issues to develop support, network and self help skills.
  13. Developing support groups and linking with community networks and other referral agencies.
  14. Emotional and spiritual support
  15. Palliative and home based care and
  16. Community outreach.
Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) is a key entry joint for a wide range of interventions in HIV prevention and care. VCT is an non-coercive, confidential, cost-effective and inclusive approach that aspires to provide information, education and communication and to motivate behaviour charge in HIV positive individuals.

A voluntary and confidential counselling and testing centre (VCTs), NACO beli-eves, should be nerve centre and a gateway, a one step stop, for a host of related services. The vision is clear and determined:
  1. Atleast one VCCTC in every district of India.
  2. Trained and informed gender sensitive counsellors
  3. Counsellors pre-disposed to supporting people living with HIV, and those directly affected.
  4. High quality laboratory services and
  5. Confidentially is non-negotiable.

VCTCs will promote moving away from high-risk behaviour towards sustained behaviour change. VCTCs will have strong referral services: early access to medical supervision, treatment and care for opportunistic infection, and STIs, linkages to blood banks and sites for prevention of parent to child transmission, and access to condoms and harm reduction programmes.

VCTCs will provide psycho-social support and crisis counselling to people living with, and directly affected by HIV. A network of support institutions will access VCTCs, like community care centres and drop in centres. In turn, the VCTCs will develop linkages with the public sector three tier primary health care system.

The vision has to work through the barriers of stigma associated with HIV.

The vision has to lead people towards the conviction that testing for HIV increases the chance of living longer and better, for those who test HIV positive.

to be continued...

Read Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 |


* Elam Saratchandra Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express . This article was webcasted on 16th July 2007.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Sangai Day 10: Closing #2 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 5: Koireng Dance :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • In remembering Oting, emphasis on Solution
  • Activism against Gender based Violence
  • World Cup 2022- 1st Round: Hope & Despair
  • Is your life worth tobacco ash ?
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Sans irrigation toxic food crops imminent
  • Putting off polls & deprivation of rights
  • 60th Mr Manipur Bodybuilding #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Poumai Dance :: Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Khulang Eshei :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Medicines that save us from STI
  • Taj Mahal - The white wonder
  • World Soil Day
  • Oting killing: Protracted probe imminent
  • How many tourists visited during Sangai Fest
  • Sangai Day 1: Laihui Folk Music #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Aeromycology over Kachai lemon plantation #2
  • Fostering NE-Bangladesh ties through Assam
  • Medical camp at Khongsang
  • Brighten your winter face with pumpkin
  • Stray cattle menace & food self-sufficiency
  • Accusing fingers raised by PAPPM
  • Sangai Fest: Sayol Sangai Chatkoi :: Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2022 #5: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • International Day of Persons with Disabilities
  • The unseen masks men put on
  • Organic seed production- Issue & strategy #4
  • Christmas Carol Competition at Leimakhong
  • Sangai Fest: Thang Ta :: Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Chiru Dance :: Gallery
  • Sports sees no gender, Sports has no gender
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • RFYC Naupang League in Mizoram
  • MPSC is going ahead of UPSC
  • Session on Meditation & Mental Health
  • Challenges stacked up for Manipuri women
  • Antagonists of ST demand for Meiteis
  • Sangai Day 10: Closing #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 10: Crowd scene :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Will Thailand lead in antimicrobial resistance
  • Webninar @NEHU : India-Japan Relations
  • Keeping up with time :: Poem
  • World AIDS Day 2022 at Tamenglong
  • Doctor-Govt stalemate, public in peril
  • Progress of the Naga peace talk
  • Sangai Day 9: Dancing Drummers :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Aimol Dance :: Gallery
  • December Calendar for Year 2022 : Tools
  • COVID-19 Status 30 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • A flight of the Hornbill
  • Working with children as career
  • Stable situation essential for attracting tourist
  • Selling Manipur to outside world
  • Sangai Day 8: Shumang Leela :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Kom Dance :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 29 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Innocence :: Poem
  • Foreign Secy's Myanmar visit ... Naga peace
  • Cancellation of residential proof certs
  • Derelict teachers threat to govt schools
  • Many questions, but no answers
  • Sangai Day 8: Food Stall #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 7: Vaiphei Dance :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • 1st & 2nd session of 12th Manipur Assembly
  • Organic seed production- Issue & strategy #3
  • IFFI means to upscale to Manipuri Cinema
  • Continuous bid to save endangered ponies
  • Arguments over ST : Meiteis are indigenes
  • Sangai Day 6: Elowe: Dzuko Valley :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 5: Khunung Eshei :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Alligator weed: Indigenous fodder resource
  • Two lives :: Poem
  • People don't actually care !!
  • The beauty in tea
  • Healthy response to Sangai Fest
  • Lessons from Japanese fans at WC
  • Sangai Day 5: Fashion parade :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 3: Thangal Dance :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Masterclasses add value to 53rd IFFI at Goa
  • 7th Charuangc 2022 : Rongmei of Delhi-NCR
  • Miss India from Manipur
  • Startup Innovation Conclave 1.0
  • National Constitution Day at Lilong
  • Sangai Day 4: 3 Types Of Drums :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 3: Chothe Dance :: Gallery
  • Involuntary Displacement in Manipur
  • Forgotten feature Film comes alive at IFFI
  • Will we protect medicines that protect us
  • God gives us our daily bread...
  • NPF consultative meeting at Zunheboto
  • Lapses in education laid bare by student
  • Adding a new flavour to War on Drugs
  • Sangai Day 3: Polo International :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Tangkhul Dance :: Gallery
  • 1st L. Keivom Memorial Day
  • Eina Khankhiba Natte : Movie Review
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Eight Meet of Astronomers concluded at MU
  • 'Manipuri films projecting Manipuri culture'
  • Condemn govts of Assam & Meghalaya
  • Corruption-free Manipur resolve under scrutiny
  • Asia at the World Cup
  • Sangai Day 2: Khutpak Chatkoi #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Tarao Dance :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Screening of Manipuri films at IFFI
  • Nagaland Govt has no economic policy: NPF
  • Organic seed production- Issue & strategy #2
  • Reinvent Northeast - Dimapur launched
  • Uneasy calm in northeast as border rows rage
  • FIFAWC and Sangai Festival : Splendid recipe
  • Ningol Chakkouba @ Pune :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Ningol Chakouba organized at Pune
  • Free mega health camp at Nagamapal
  • Outlaw glyphosate and its derivatives
  • Creators Meet of Tripura at Agartala
  • No respite from drug and tobacco threats
  • Manipur: Fountainhead of drugs ?
  • Sangai Day 1: Laihui Folk Music #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 1: Opening ceremony :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Copa Manipur at Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • South Asia's film market features Manipur
  • ST Demand: Decided by merits; not by poll
  • Ecotoxicology- needed to save living beings
  • 'Look East policy into Act East Policy'
  • Tourism promotional fest litmus test for state
  • Sangai & Pony, the twin face of Manipur
  • Tarpon Chaklen Katpa #2 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Festival 2022 :: Activities List
  • The Dream Kangleipak :: Book Review
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • 53rd IFFI featuring Manipuri Cinema kicks off
  • World Toilet Day 2022
  • Pulicat Lagoon, Flamingos' haven
  • Amid substance abuse, thrust on open gym
  • FIFA World Cup 2022
  • 1st CM's Sagol Kangjei C'ship :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Sangai Fest as a way to Look East Policy
  • 1st Chief Minister's Sagol Kangjei C'ship
  • Organic seed production- Issue & strategy #1
  • For PM Modi, G20 has come at the right time
  • Rock band Arogya releases latest single
  • Community Ningol Chakouba #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Out of the heart comes the issues of life
  • NE Startup Showcase @ Manipur Tech Hub
  • Immortal Gallows :: Poem
  • Workshop on Amrita Meditation at RGU ArP
  • Skin Pigmentation in Winter
  • Influx issue headache for all indigenes
  • Wanted: Visionary leaders :: Follies of past
  • The changing idioms of Manipuri theatre
  • COVID-19 Status 17 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • DFC Shillong launched with Model workshop
  • Antimicrobial resistance... to reverse progress
  • 2nd North East Olympic Games closes
  • Unending quota system & National excellence
  • Solar energy can help India achieve net-zero
  • Sangai Festival as launch pad for tourism
  • All eyes on Qatar
  • Manipur Journalist Awards #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Delegates for IFFI, Goa
  • Intellectual Class- First Line of Defense
  • Who are ST in true spirit of Constitution
  • Journalism is a public good ...
  • Vaccine transported through Drones in ArP
  • Mass tree felling depreciates existence...
  • ST demand : Let Delhi have the say
  • 5th Kwatha Festival #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • This Eleventh Edition of Sangai Festival
  • The garden of Kew #2
  • NE International Fashion Week 2022
  • Housing system for sow & piglets
  • Doctors grieving relentlessly, Govt silent
  • Law catching up after 21 years
  • Leima Jagoi @ Nongshaba #1 :: Gallery
  • Manipur Technology innovation Hub
  • North East BJP Karyakartas Sammelan
  • Supreme Court call for revisit of reservation
  • Rural Immersion Camp at West Kameng
  • World Diabetes Day 2022
  • Undeserving PDS rice beneficiaries
  • Leaving the doors wide open
  • On author, research & publication #3
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • MSAD : newly elected executives for 2022-23
  • 'Trust deficit' in Naga talks
  • Professor Bimola : A Life Fully Lived
  • Love's Twist :: Poem
  • Rani Gaidinliu Training Camp concluded
  • Job for all promise as unemployed rises
  • Presenting Manipur to the world
  • Manipur Fashion Extravaganza #3 :: Gallery
  • Seminar on Role of Women in Sports : Report
  • The great Asian Highway : Tokyo to Istanbul
  • Seminar : Reconstruction of Education
  • 4th National Lok Adalat for the year, 2022
  • Rishi Sunak .. is a pucca English Burra sahib
  • Ningol Chakkouba : Gift presents :: Gallery
  • Conference on Metallomics @ Manipur Univ
  • An awakening sprout in darkness :: Poem
  • Narration from a man who chase mountains
  • Jobs @ JCRE skill solutions, Thangmeiband
  • Masterclass on Social Photography kicks off
  • Training on mushroom cultivation
  • Probe into PMGSY project blot on graft-free
  • Opinion poll & quest for ST status
  • MANITEX @ Nilakuthi #1 :: Gallery
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar for 2023
  • Camping @Shirui Lily Fest #2 :: Gallery
  • Aku Zeliang : Young Talent of the Year Award
  • Manipur in UN's drug cartel map...
  • Hiyang Tannaba @ Loktak #3 :: Gallery
  • Application: AgriEntrepreneur across Manipur
  • Sangai Festival 2022 :: Program & Venues
  • Ningol Chakouba at Bengaluru
  • Linthoi Chanambam- Judo Player :: Gallery
  • Indo-Naga Talks (2012-) :: News Timeline
  • Hari-Uthang Kang Chingba :: Gallery
  • Ningol on way to her mapam #2 :: Gallery
  • Kut Festival @ Churachandpur : Gallery
  • AMAND Pune: Cultural Program #2 : Gallery
  • Ningol on way to her mapam #1 :: Gallery
  • Okram Kumar : Archaeological researcher
  • Mera Houchongba @ Kangla #2 :: Gallery
  • Olympians & National awardees of Manipur
  • Rules of English Pronunciation : Download
  • Sub-Syllables in English : Book Download