Voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) for HIV allows individuals to know their HIV status and serves as the gateway for both HIV prevention and for early access to treatment, care and support.
Knowing one's status provides for the choice to - for those who are negative, remain negative; and for those who are positive, seek access to treatment, care and support, and to reduce the risk of HIV transmission to future children and partners.
UNFPA’s mandate as it relates to HIV/AIDS, is Prevention. Many approaches to HIV prevention require people to know their HIV status. In this way, VCT becomes a key component of UNFPA’s HIV preventive mandate.
To promote VCT as an entry point for HIV prevention, UNFPA needs to continue to advocate for and to support the provision of high quality counseling and testing for HIV in the context of HIV/STI prevention programmes for young people 1, pregnant women 2 and their partners, and for individuals most vulnerable to the infection.