HIV/AIDS Counseling Skills and Strategies: Can Testing and Counseling Curb the Epidemic?

Amar Shireesh Kanekar





The HIV/AIDS (Human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) epidemic is in its third decade and has reached to alarming proportions worldwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one million people are living with HIV with an estimated 56,300 infections happening each year in the United States .Diagnosis of HIV/AIDS via early testing along with pretest and post-test counseling is important for psychosocial stabilization and destigmatization.Risk reduction counseling as a preventive counseling method is equally important in high-risk individuals such as adolescents, substance abusers and in gay and bisexual population. The purpose of this manuscript is to address a number of counseling strategies used for education and counseling of individuals at risk of getting HIV/AIDS and also among those who are HIV infected. Some of the various dimensions of counseling are negative approach counseling, assessing readiness to change, and motivational enhancement therapy. Multiple approaches are used by counselors in providing education and prevention counseling to ‘at risk’ individuals and also individuals who have been infected with the virus.

Key words: safer sex, social testing, HIV education, counseling

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