Handbook for improving HIV testing and counselling services
The past decade has seen a rapid global scale-up of HIV testing and counselling through a variety of approaches, including provider-initiated testing and counselling as part of medical care, and client-initiated testing and counselling, often called voluntary counselling and testing. As important as expanding services is, this should not be done at the expense of good quality of services. Quality is as much a “people” issue as a “technical” one. To obtain a coherent, functioning quality management system that addresses national, subnational, facility and community concerns, it is important that quality be monitored, improved and evaluated at each level with the active involvement of all stakeholders. A range of quality assurance and quality improvement methods have been applied in health care over the past two decades in middle- and low-income countries. Deciding on which one to use for HTC will depend on the country context, commitment of policy-makers and programme managers, as well as the complexity of problems that need to be addressed.
WHO has worked with international and country level partners to develop a tool, the Handbook for improving HIV testing and counselling services (WHO 2010) which can be used at any level of the health care system to implement a process to address problems identified by providers of HIV testing and counselling services. WHO invites users of the Handbook to send back documentation of your experiences through the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.