Email 49: Inquiry from Indonesia

Posted by Pozziepinoy on 2:08 PM

Hi Pozzie (I don't know your real name),

My name is XXX. I am managing a website in Indonesia. One guy e-mailed me and asked where he could access the ARV in Manila. Fyi, he is currently working in Indonesia and accessing free ARV here in Indonesia (From his email address, I assume he's a Filipino). I have emailed my friend in Manila to ask about this but he hasn't replied my email. 

My questions are:

1. Is ARV free in Manila?
2. If it's not free, how much is it? He's taking: AZT+3TC+EFV
3. Where is the referral hospital and how is the procedure?

Thank you so much for answering the questions. Waiting for you reply. 




Thank you for your email. I am glad that you were able to reach me through my blog.

Let me answer your questions in the order that you asked them.

First, the ARV's are free in Manila, or should I say in the entire Philippines. The reason for this is that the ARV's for HIV are still being subsidized by the Global Fund, thus they are still free. 

Second, there are no ARV's in the market here in the country. Persons living with HIV or PLHIV's can't purchase them in different pharmacies here so there is no choice but to get them in government and or private HIV/AIDS treatment hubs. The disadvantage of this is that all of us have to undergo all the screening, testing and counselling in these treatment hubs being monitored by the PhilHealth, the government's health insurance system. Also, because they are not available, the treatment hubs control which patients can only be prescribed with ARV's. Their cutoff  mark for a PLHIV to be prescribed with free ARV's in the country is CD4 of 350 and below. Those who have CD4's higher than 350 will be asked to come back to the treatment hub after 6 months and monitor their CD4 til then.

Third, there are three main government HIV/AIDS treatment hubs in the country, namely the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine-AIDS Research Group (RITM-ARG) in Alabang, Muntinlupa City; the Philippine General Hospital -STD/AIDS Guidance Intervention Prevention Unit (PGH-SAGIP) in Manila and the San Lazaro Hospital STD/AIDS Cooperative Central Laboratory (SLH-SACCL) also in Manila. The two biggest private hubs are in The Makati Medical Center (MMC) and The Medical City's I-React. 

You can check out my other blog entries about the treatment hubs:

The requirements in getting free ARV's are the following:
       1. Filipino nationals and permanent residents 
       2. HIV screening test result conducted here in the Philippines. 
       3. Active member of PhilHealth

The procedures of the procurement of ARV's are as follows:

1. Present the confirmatory result of the HIV test in the treatment hub.
2. Complete all required baseline lab tests required by the hub.
3. Ge the CD4 and Viral load test for baseline.
4. Have a consultation with the infectious doctor in the hub

Please refer to my other blog posts:

I hope I was able to answer your questions. Feel free to email me again if you have other queries.

Stay healthy,

© Copyright. All Rights Reserved by Pozziepinoy 2012