Provider-Initiated Counseling and Testing (PITC)
Provider initiated testing and counseling (PITC) represents an aggressive effort to do HIV testing on all persons who come to MOH medical facilities. So if you present with a broken leg or a sore throat, you should be tested. It is now national policy to view consent for testing inherent in deciding to come to a MOH facility.
With funding initially provided by Abbott Laboratories, AMPATH has expanded its PITC program to be inclusive of all AMPATH sites. So if patients present to the emergency room, outpatient clinic or inpatient wards, staff has been trained to test the patient for HIV. If the patient is found to be HIV positive, the patient is registered into AMPATH and given an appointment for care.
Hundreds of thousands of patient visits are made to AMPATH affiliated MOH facilities every year. And we find that these patients represent an especially vulnerable population with HIV prevalence rates twice what one would find in the surrounding general population.
The AMPATH PITC program has become one of the main sources of new patients enrolling in AMPATH. Many challenges remain. Getting to every clinic and inpatient bed remains a goal beyond reach. Getting every patient found to be HIV positive linked into AMPATH treatment services remains a work in progress.
Every month, PITC penetrates deeper into the MOH sites where it is most needed. Even now, the AMPATH PITC program is the most active in Kenya. And we are capable of making this program even stronger in the year ahead.