Programs that offer HIV tests which are used to identify individuals who have been infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and are at risk for developing AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) or which are used to measure progression of the disease in people known to be infected. The most common HIV screening test is the enzyme immunoassay (EIA) which most frequently uses peripheral blood drawn from the arm or a finger as a sample, but can also be conducted using serum, oral fluids or urine. Repeatedly reactive EIA tests are confirmed using the Western blot or the immunofluorescence assay (IFA). The most common test that is used to measure disease progression is the PCR (polymeraise chain reaction) or viral load test. Many programs that provide HIV testing also provide pre-testing and post-test counselling which includes information about AIDS/HIV, reducing risks for HIV transmission, emotional support to help the individual deal with the testing process and test results, and information about and referral to other AIDS-related services.
Programs that identify individuals who have contracted gonorrhea, syphilis, genital herpes or other diseases that are spread by sexual contact and diagnose their conditions. The procedure includes visual examinations, blood tests and analyses of discharge or samples taken from lesions.
Programs that provide assistance for people who want to control the size of their families and the spacing of their children, usually through some form of birth control; who want to explore options for conceiving; who have a problem with infertility; or who have questions about the advisability of becoming pregnant or following through with a current pregnancy.
Programs that provide information about the physiological and emotional aspects of human sexuality including anatomy and physiology, puberty, pregnancy, birth control, sexually transmitted disease and the subsequent risk of infertility, menopause and the attitudes, feelings and behaviours that are related to sexuality for people of all ages.
Programs that provide comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services which focus on conditions that are typically seen in women. Women's health centres provide services in an emotionally supportive and safe environment, and place emphasis on educational programs that encourage women to take personal responsibility for their own health and wellness.
Programs that provide a wide variety of therapeutic interventions for individuals or couples who are unable to become involved in sexual relationships or whose sexual relationships are unsatisfying. Included are individual or group sessions for one or both partners, conjoint counselling and/or specialized sexual therapy programs which sensitize participants to sexual responsiveness through practicing sexual activity with their own or a surrogate partner.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.