VCT is surviving despite of Challenges and obstacles

HIV voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) Is a crucial part for HIV primary prevention as well as early detection of new cases. Providing health education sessions tailored for each customer “Counseling”. Also VCT tells individuals HIV status and open the door for better service utilization including treatment, care and support. Although the majority of population is HIV negative, knowing seronegative is a strong motivation to keep the result negative especially for those who believed that it is difficult to adopt safer practice. On the other hand; HIV positive individuals may become more motivated to adopt a more healthy lifestyle for example, avoiding risk behaviors, seeking health care and treatment earlier and protect partners.

AIDS Intervention Unit- AIU in Caritas is always keen to deliver high quality services of VCT since 2005. Over nine years right now Caritas delivered the services for more than 2000 visitors and distributed over than 10 thousands of condoms as well as over than 150 new cases had been diagnosed for the first time. VCT Center in Caritas offers the service for everyone particularly high risk groups including IDUs and their partners, CSW and MSM as well as vulnerable youth.
Caritas- Alexandria as a pioneer in establishing VCT in Egypt is experiencing new challenges day after day. One of them is Complementary medical services, where the VCT Positive client should wait the confirmatory result at least one month from central lab at MOH.
The stigma associated with HIV is another challenge to VCT utilization rate, to overcome this situation; individual confidential approach, active outreach and marketing activities took place.

The VCT service is free of charge for the clients, but not for the organization. Verifying secure source of fund equals sustainability.

VCT Center in Caritas has the potential to offer counseling and testing for every client and looking forward to be VCT center of excellence in the near future.

Caritas- Alexandria