All HTS providers must remain committed to preserving confidentiality, one of the 5 Cs of HTS. Confidentiality applies not only to the test results and reports of HIV status but also to any personal information, such as information concerning sexual behaviour and the use of illegal drugs. HTS should avoid practices that can inadvertently reveal a client’s test results, or HIV status, to others in the waiting room or in the health facility. Such practices might include counselling all people diagnosed HIV-positive in a special room or by a specific provider or making it obvious to others which clients will need or is receiving additional testing or lengthy post-test counselling. Lack of confidentiality discourages people from using HTS. For example, in Cambodia some sex workers refused HIV testing because the outreach setting where peer educators were providing counselling was not perceived as private. Health workers and others who provide HIV testing may need special training and sensitization regarding the confidentiality of medical records, particularly where key populations are concerned.
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