Provider-initiated HIV testing does not affect clients' rights
A new study reported in this week's PLOS Medicine reports findings from a study carried out in four African countries by Carla Makhlouf Obermeyer and colleagues on approaches towards expanding testing and counselling for HIV.
Provider-initiated HIV testing has the potential to expand access to treatment and prevention services, but there have been concerns as to whether consent practices, client confidentiality, and the referral to care will be acceptable under provider-initiated testing modes.
The study, conducted in Burkina Faso, Kenya, Malawi and Uganda, found that most respondents under both provider-initiated and voluntary modes of testing report favourable outcomes for consent, confidentiality and referral. The study suggests that it will be possible to scale up HIV testing through many different modes of access without negatively affecting individuals' rights.