Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
GRANGEIRO, Alexandre et al. Voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) services and their contribution to access to HIV diagnosis in Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2009, vol.25, n.9, pp. 2053-2063. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2009000900019.
The Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) Network was implemented in Brazil in the 1980s to promote anonymous and confidential access to HIV diagnosis. As a function of the population and dimensions of the local epidemic, the study assessed the network's coverage, using data from a self-applied questionnaire and data from the Information Technology Department of the Unified National Health System (SUS), UNDP, and National STD/AIDS Program. The Student t test was used for comparison of means and the chi-square test for proportions. Brazil has 383 VCT centers, covering 48.9% of the population and 69.2% of the AIDS cases. The network has been implemented predominantly in regions where the epidemic shows a relevant presence, but 85.3% of the cities with high HIV incidence lack VCT centers; absence of VCT was associated with more limited health infrastructure and worse social indicators. A slowdown in expansion of the network was observed, with VCT Centers implemented on average 16 years after the first AIDS case in the given municipality. The number of HIV tests performed under the SUS is 2.3 times higher in cities with VCT centers. The network's scope is limited, thus minimizing the contribution by these services to the supply of HIV diagnosis in Brazil.
Keywords : Anonymous Testing; Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Health Services Evaluation.