HIV Testing Services (HTS) is a critical entry point for HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services. In Swaziland HTS has also enabled individuals to access other services such as male circumcision (MC), post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT), treatment (ART,TB/HIV) and control and management of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
HTS also provides a unique opportunity for service providers to offer health information and education, to create awareness of HIV and AIDS, and create demand for other services. It is for these reasons that Swaziland has prioritized the provision of HTS as an entry point to all core HIV programmes.
Know your HIV status !
You can not tell whether you have been infected with HIV by how you feel and you can't know your status by looking on physical appearance. The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested. If you know you have HIV, you can get the treatment and care you need. It’s important to know your status and start treatment as soon as possible, as it can help you to stay healthy, to live a long life and to avoid passing HIV on to others. The HIV test involves having some blood taken from your arm or a couple of drops of blood taken from your finger.
Window period !
After HIV enters the body, it may take time before the test can detect the virus (this is known as the window period). Different HIV tests have different window periods. Some tests can detect HIV as early as 7 days and all tests give accurate results within three months.
If you test positive !
If left undiagnosed and untreated, HIV causes serious damage to your immune system. The good news is, once you start treatment you’re back in control. Treatment greatly reduces HIV replication and helps strengthen your immune system. There have been huge advances in the treatment of HIV, Our government is committed to provide HIV drugs with no charge, with the right treatment and care, you can stay healthy. To protect yourself and your partner(s), practise safer sex.
HTS Interventions !
In an effort to scale up Testing and Counseling among couples and general public, the Ministry of Health has introduced the “Love Test” and HTS month campaigns. HTS has been strengthened through skills transfer for service providers for couples testing by hiring, training and placing lay counsellors in all 11 high volume facilities such as Out Patient Departments (OPDs) and TB clinics of hospitals , health centres and clinics. This has resulted in an increase in demand for HTS in these entry points.nurses and doctors at Baylor. Availability and consistent provision of fixed drug combinations and other paediatric friendly formulations. HIV positivity at 8 weeks is at 2%.