Dwi Harjanti KA; International Conference on AIDS (15th : 2004 : Bangkok, Thailand).
Voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) is an essential link for HIV prevention, care and support in Indonesia. VCT sites in Indonesia are few and currently only in several of the major urban areas. There is increased interest to quickly initiate VCT in new areas. The feasibility and sustainability of VCT is dependent upon communities’ understanding and value of VCT as an entry point for prevention, treatment, care, and support. Description: Family Health International together with the Department of Health, RI under the Aksi Stop AIDS Program implemented advocacy and rapid situational assessments in 9 cities. The rapid assessments were carried out by local assessment teams who identified existing infrastructure to support the development of VCT. The situational analysis coupled with educational and advocacy activities encouraged the development of supportive policies, assisted in understanding what each stakeholder’s expected contribution is to ensure that VCT services are professional, confidential and tailored to the epidemiological, cultural, behavioral, and economic context of the area. The four-day intensive VCT advocacy and rapid assessments were done over a period of 3 months in Jayapura, Merauke, Sorong, Surabaya, Bandung, Manado, Bitung, Batam and Tanjung Pinang where VCT services are currently non-existant. Lessons learned: The structured advocacy programs fostered district and city wide discussions in understanding the concept of VCT. The assessment process enabled local ownership for both confidential and quality VCT services and identified locations for priority placement of VCT services. Recommendation: Increase advocacy and promotion of VCT benefits to GOI, NGO and CBO’s. Create partnership between government and NGO sectors to deliver sustainable integrated VCT. Allocate local community funds for subsidizing the costs related to HIV laboratory testing. Start-up VCT pilot services in each city/district, then scale up to all major health care facilities. Develop standard operating procedures for VCT to guide quality service delivery.
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