Approaches to HIV Counselling and Testing: Strengths and Weaknesses, and Challenges for the Way Forward

  • Heidi van Rooyen
  • Linda Richter
  • Thomas J. Coates
  • Merridy Boettiger


South Africa has the highest rates of HIV infection of any country in the world. The two main goals of the National Strategic Plan on HIV & AIDS and STIs, 2007–2011 (NSP) are to reduce the incidence of new HIV infections in South Africa by half by 2011 and to ensure that at least 80% of those who are already HIV-positive have access to treatment (National Department of Health, 2007). Knowledge of HIV status is considered critical for both these prevention and treatment goals. Once an individual has been tested for HIV, prevention can be reinforced and referral made to available treatment, care and support services. A potential added benefit is that increasing the number of people who know their HIV status through expanded access to HIV counselling and testing may also result in a decrease in HIV-related stigma, leading to a “normalisation” of the HIV epidemic (Anderson, 2006; De Cock et al., 2002).


PMTCT Programme National Strategic Plan International Counselling Project Accept 



The authors thank Lauren Kleutsch for her contributions in editing this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heidi van Rooyen
    • 1
  • Linda Richter
    • 2
  • Thomas J. Coates
    • 3
  • Merridy Boettiger
    • 4
  1. 1.Human Sciences Research CouncilDurbanSouth Africa
  2. 2.Human Sciences Research CouncilPretoriaSouth Africa
  3. 3.David Geffen School of MedicineLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Formerly at Human Sciences Research CouncilPietermaritzburgSouth Africa

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