Are my HIV test results confidential?
Information regarding the outcome of the HIV test must always be kept confidential.
Prior to receiving an HIV test, you must give informed consent preferably in private and within the sight of your health care provider. Doing this will inform your health care provider to give you specific pre-test information which will then open a dialogue between you and the provider so that you may be able to ask questions and receive answers accordingly.
Regardless of the outcome of the test, each person who takes an HIV test must receive counseling. Access to post-test counseling should be made available regardless of the HIV test results. Pre-test counseling is an essential element of Voluntary Counseling and Testing because the client gets the required information and support to make acknowledge able decision about testing and develop practical strategies to deal with their test results.
There are various kinds of testing available:
- Confidential HIV test: This implies that the name and other distinguished information of the tested person will be attached to the results of the HIV test. The results will go in the medical records and may be shared only with another person with a written approval from the tested person.
- Anonymous HIV Test: There are no records binding the tested person to the results of the HIV test.When you take an anonymous HIV test,you are given a distinctive identifier (usually in the form of a code or number) that enables you to obtain the results of your test.
What are my options if I have HIV?
A lot of people diagnosed with HIV are now living longer and healthier due to the recent advancements in medical treatments. You need to make sure you have a qualified doctor capable of treating HIV but in the absence of one, a trained HIV counselor or a health care professional can provide counseling and help you to get a suitable doctor for treatment.
Peer support can be exceptionally useful for the management of HIV, you can also talk to your counselor.
To remain healthy, follow these guidelines:
- Follow your doctor’s instructions.
- Attend your appointments.
- Take your medicine as prescribed by your doctor.
- To prevent the risk of infections such as the flu and pneumonia, get immunization (only by your doctor’s approval.)
- Drink adequate water and maintain good nutrition.
- To remain strong and fit, Exercise routinely.
- Get sufficient sleep and rest.
These tips may also help:
- Access individual counseling for information related to prevention, care and treatment alternatives.
- Seek couples counseling and disclosure to your partner.
- Continue HIV testing and counseling for your family.
- Follow your doctor’s recommendation on safe sex and risk reduction.
- Get screening and treatment for different illnesses including malaria, tuberculosis and other sexually transmitted infections.
If you are pregnant, you must access information on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission and counseling on baby feeding.