Individuals who test HIV-negative should receive brief health information about their test results. Research to date has not demonstrated that a lengthy counselling session is needed or is beneficial. Further, lengthy post-test counselling for people testing negative may divert counselling resources that are needed by those who test HIV-positive, those whose results are inconclusive and those who are found to be in a serodiscordant relationship.
Counselling for those who test HIV-negative should include the following:
- an explanation of the test result and reported HIV status;
- education on methods to prevent HIV acquisition and provision of male or female condoms, lubricant and guidance on their use;
- emphasis on the importance of knowing the status of sexual partner(s) and information about the availability of partner and couples testing services;
- referral and linkage to relevant HIV prevention services, including voluntary male medical circumcision (VMMC) for HIV-negative men, PEP, PrEP for people at substantial ongoing HIV risk;
- a recommendation on retesting based on the client’s level of recent exposure and/or ongoing risk of exposure.
- an opportunity for the client to ask questions and request counselling.