Voluntary Counseling and Testing Project

NOTE: This study has ended.

An AIDS prevention brochure in Kiswahili

In developing countries where health resources are severely limited, debate continues regarding the relative amount that should be spent on HIV counseling and testing. While HIV counseling and testing has been promoted as effective for prevention, few controlled studies have been conducted. The Voluntary HIV Counseling and Testing Efficacy study was a randomized clinical trial of the effectiveness of HIV counseling and testing for the prevention of new HIV infections. The study was conducted at three sites:

These sites were chosen to represent a variety of epidemiological and cultural contexts in which Voluntary HIV Counseling and Testing could occur. The results of the clinical trial will provide crucial information regarding the effectiveness, cost, and consequences of HIV counseling and testing for prevention in the developing country context.

The study was designed to compare the prevalence of unprotected sexual intercourse six months after intervention between participants randomized to receive HIV counseling and testing (C&T) versus participants randomized to receive a health information intervention (HI). Rates of pregnancy, psychological status, family relationships and HIV-related discrimination were also assessed at the six month follow-up.

At the initial baseline visit staff determined eligibility, obtained informed consent, collected a baseline urine sample, and administered the baseline survey. Participants were then randomized to receive either the C&T or the HI Intervention. Only participants in C&T were offered HIV testing and counseling at baseline; all participants were eligible for C&T at the six month follow-up.

All participants returned at six and twelve months for follow-up. At the six-month visit all participants completed the follow-up survey and had STD examination and treatment. All participants were eligible for HIV testing and counseling at six months. At the twelve-month return visit all participants completed the follow-up survey and received HIV testing and counseling as requested.

There was also a sub-study to determine if there was differential behavior change among participants who enroll in the study as individuals versus those who enroll as couples. The study also assessed the prevalence of various STDs and the relationship between reported behavior and incident STD infections.

The following materials are available for your information:


Intervention curricula

Last modified: October 22, 2012