LVCT Health

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where can I get tested for HIV? 

HIV testing services are available in all our HIV testing centres and government hospitals/public health facilities.

2. Is there a fee charged for HIV Testing services?

HIV testing services in all our centres and in all public health facilities are free of charge.

3. Can I test myself for HIV? 

Yes, you can now buy a HIV self-testing kit from private pharmacies and test yourself at your convenient time and place.

4. Are the HIV test results accurate? 

The test kits we use are certified and approved by the Ministry of Health and give accurate results.

5. What happens when I test HIV positive? 

Once you test HIV, talk to a health provider to receive HIV care and treatment at the earliest opportunity. Care and treatment is available in our centres and government health facilities free of charge.

6. Can I transmit HIV if I am on ARVs?

If you have achieved viral suppression, the chances of you transmitting HIV are minimal. To achieve viral suppression, one must take the drugs as prescribed by the doctor and have frequent check-ups and keep clinic appointments.

7. What is viral load test and its importance?

This is a test that checks the amount of the HIV virus in the body. It is important because it indicates whether treatment is working in an individual or not.

8. What do I do if I miss my ARV dose?

Take the dose as soon as you remember. This will increase the amount of ARVs in the blood hence reduce the chances of one developing drug resistance.

9. I have been taking ARVs for a while, then I got faith healing. How is this possible?

This is not possible as there is no known cure for HIV. The virus has the unique ability to hide in some parts of the body called sanctuary sites hence unable to be detectable by normal HIV tests.

10. How often should I get a viral load test and where?

Once a year, if you have achieved viral suppression or every 3 months if you have not achieved viral suppression.

11. What is Gender Based Violence (GBV)?

GBV is defined as including “acts that inflict physical, mental or sexual harm or suffering, threats of such acts, coercion and other denials of liberty.” It refers to violence that target individuals on the basis of their gender.

12. What is SGBV- Sexual & Gender Based Violence?

Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) refers to any act that is perpetrated against a person’s will and is based on gender norms and unequal power relationships. It includes physical, emotional or psychological and sexual violence, and denial of resources or access to services.

13. What is Violence against Women (VAW)?

Violence against women is a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination against women. It includes all acts of gender-based violence that result in, or are likely to result in, physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion.

14. What are the various forms of GBV?

  • Sexual Violence

This is any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, unwanted sexual comments or advances, or acts to traffic women’s sexuality, using coercion, threats of harm or physical force, by any person regardless of their relationship to the survivor, in any setting,  including but not limited to home and work.

  • Physical Violence

This includes any forceful or violent physical behavior that causes actual harm e.g. punches, plucking out hair, biting, choking, kicking, slapping, shoving, mutilation, burns, use of arms and domestic incarceration.

  • Physiological / Emotional Violence

This includes any threats to do bodily harm to a partner, a child, a family member, friends or oneself. It involves humiliation, exploitation, intimidation, psychological degradation, verbal aggression and deprivation of freedom and rights.

  • Harmful traditional practices

This include, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Female sex slavery, Denial of rights to control one’s fertility, Sex discrimination, early child Marriage

  • Socio-Economic Violence

Socioeconomic violence encompasses economic blackmail i.e. limit money to conduct duties or needs, not allowing women to work, unequal employment payments for equal work done, salary of women belonging to the husband, taking away the money the woman earns so the male partner has an absolute control over the family income. It also deprivation of basic necessities, exclusion from decision making, unpaid labor, trafficking women and girls for economic gains, property grabbing etc.

  • Intimate Partner Violence

IPV (behavior by an intimate partner or ex-partner that causes physical, sexual or psychological harm, including physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and controlling behaviors)

  • VAC – Violence against Children

Violence against children encompasses physical or mental violence, injury and abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, and maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse.  The UN defines violence against children in line with article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of Children (CRC): against “all forms of physical or mental violence, injury and abuse, neglect or children negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse.”

15. What is rape?

Rape is penetration of another person’s private parts (vagina or anus) with a sexual organ without permission, by use of force, threats, coercion or intimidation of any kind.

16. What do I need to do if I am raped or defiled?

  • Do not wash or clean any part of your body, or comb your hair no matter how much you may want to.
  • Do not destroy, change, throw away or wash your clothes.
  • Do not put the clothes in a plastic paper bag or newspaper as this may destroy the evidence. Wrap the clothes in a non-polythene paper (e.g. khaki bag) or in clean cotton clothes to preserve evidence of the rape.
  • Take the clothes to the hospital with you and let the health care provider examine them. If possible carry an extra set of clothes to change after the examination.
  • Do not change anything where the rape occurred since important evidence may be found there. Do not dispose of a condom if one was used.
  • If possible, do not pass urine or stool, or wipe the genital area until you are examined at the hospital. If you must pass urine, collect a sample in a clean container and take it to the hospital.
  • Keep all your medical records safe.

17. What are the minimum services that one should get in a health facility?

  • Psychological First Aid (PFA) – a debrief of the survivor with an aim of reducing immediate stress; this facilitates a healthy recovery following a traumatic event
  • Early and appropriate care for injuries
  • Rapid HIV testing and counselling
  • Post Exposure Prophylaxis-PEP a preventive medical treatment  (can be issued so long as client reports within 72 hours) and follows up in adherence counselling
  • Emergency contraceptive pills (can be issued so long as client reports within 5 days (120 hours)
  • STI screening, diagnosis and treatment
  • Hepatitis B screening and vaccination
  • Psychosocial support , counselling and subsequent follow up
  • Linkage to appropriate post-test services (Police, Legal, Shelter)

18. Where can I train as a HIV Testing Service (HTS) Provider? 

We provide training for HTS providers at our LVCT Health Training Institute

19. Do you have a question for us? contact ckm@lvcthealth.org