Voluntary Testing and Counselling | Western Cape Government

Voluntary Testing and Counselling

Voluntary Testing and Counselling (VCT) is available at ATICC, as well as at most clinics of public health facilities. The decision to be tested is a voluntary one - no one can be forced to have an HIV test.

The three main steps to be followed are pre-test counselling, testing and post-test counselling.


At ATICC pre-test counselling is given before the HIV test by a psychologist to make sure the person has enough information to make an informed decision about having an HIV test or not. At clinics the counselling is provided by a nurse or trained lay councillor. The discussion is private and confidential and includes information about HIV/AIDS and the test itself. After pre-test counselling a person can decide whether or not to have the test. A consent form needs to be signed to have the HIV test.

Proxy consent can also be given. This is when a person is legally entitled to give consent on behalf of another individual. For example, a parent or guardian of a child below the age of 12 may give consent for an HIV test for the child. However, children who are 12 years and older who have consented to a test must be given their test results. This information may not be given to their parents without their consent.


HIV testing for an employee in the workplace is prohibited unless justified by an order of the Labour Court, in accordance with the Employment Equity Act No 55 of 1998 Section 7(2).

The HIV test is an accurate scientific test to show if a person has been infected with HIV and is usually done on a person's blood. Most testing sites use a Rapid Test, which means that the test results are available after about 20 minutes.


The rapid test results are given during the post-test counselling session. This session is also confidential and it is against the law for any health care worker/counsellor to give a test result whether it is positive or negative to any other person without the permission of the individual who has had the test.

If the test result is HIV-negative, the individual will be counselled on the dangers of risky sexual behaviour and educated about safer sex practices such as using condoms. If the individual is HIV-positive they will be counselled on how to deal with the news, and will be given information about safer sex practices and nutrition. ATICC offers up to six sessions of ongoing councelling to HIV positive individuals and to couples and families affected by HIV. The person may be given ongoing counselling or referred to a support group or organisation such as ATICC. a pregnant woman who tests HIV positive will be given the option of joining the Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission Programme.

ATICC offers up to six sessions of ongoing counselling to HIV positive individuals and to couples and families affected by HV/AIDS. Lay counsellors in the province are trained by the Aids Training and Information Centre (ATICC) based in Plumstead, Cape Town. Only volunteers working with NGOs in the field of HIV/Aids can apply for training.


If you have any questions about HIV/Aids you can phone the free 24-hour Aids Helpline at 0800 012 322.

These are some more useful contacts:

It is necessary to make an appointment for VCT at ATICC.

Voluntary testing and counselling is provided at most clinics and community health centres. If a health care facility does not have this service the person must be referred to a counselling agency or another facility with the capacity to provide pre- and post-test counselling.

First-time visitors to the clinic or community health centre will be asked to fill out a form and a folder will be opened for the patient. You should bring your ID book with you.

Phone: 021 763 5320/1/2/3.

Hours for testing at ATICC are as follows:

Monday:08:30 - 12:30
Tuesday:08:30 - 12:30
Wednesday:08:30 - 12:30
Thursday:08:30 - 12:30
Friday:08:30 - 11:30
Provided At: These facility categories:
Provided by:
Government Body: (Department of Health, Western Cape Government)
Government Body: (Department of Health, Western Cape Government)
The content on this page was last updated on 27 December 2017