While many people get HIV-related counseling and testing, only those who receive pre- and post-test counseling, and test voluntarily, are participating in voluntary counseling and testing (VCT). The high rates of HIV infection among youth make it crucial to find programs to prevent infection. Because there is evidence that many adults benefit from VCT, there is increasing interest in extending these services to young people. VCT counseling helps adolescents evaluate their own behavior and its consequences. A negative test result offers the opportunity to recognize vulnerabilities and develop risk-reduction plans to adopt safe behaviors. Young people who test HIV-positive can receive referrals for care and have opportunities to discuss and understand what their HIV status means and what responsibilities they have to themselves and others as a result. Young women who are pregnant and test HIV-positive should be offered special care to safeguard their own health and minimize the risk of passing the virus to the baby. This report assesses the available evidence about the current status of VCT and youth in developing countries.
McCauley, Ann P. 2004. "Equitable access to HIV counseling and testing for youth in developing countries: A review of current practice," Horizons Report. Washington, DC: Population Council.