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The South African government wishes to expand availability and use of counseling and testing (C&T) for HIV. One option is to integrate C&T into well-attended services, such as family planning (FP). In 2004, the Population Council began a three-year study with the Department of Health in North West Province. The study tested the feasibility, acceptability, and cost of two models for integrating HIV prevention services within established FP programs, and evaluated their quality against standard practice. In the testing-model clinics, providers provided C&T services at the same consultation; in the referral-model clinics, providers offered HIV counseling and referred clients to voluntary counseling and testing services in the same clinic or nearby. All providers used the Balanced Counseling Strategy Plus toolkit (BCS+), adapted to integrate counseling on prevention of STIs and HIV. In the testing model, providers also received training in rapid HIV testing and pre- and post-test counseling. In the control clinics, providers gave standard care to FP clients as stipulated in the Primary Health Care package in the public sector. As noted in this brief, both models provide a way forward in implementing the government policy of offering C&T to all clients seeking reproductive health services.






Frontiers in Reproductive Health