Email 412: ARV Concerns from a Foreign National

Posted by Pozziepinoy on 8:12 PM

I am currently in Thailand and I would like to move to Cebu for a fresh start at life.. I am 43 and retired from the US.. I have been hiv positive for 4 years and just went through treatment for PCP. My CD4 dropped to 66 I am now on AntiVirals and they are working great. I feel better and I am healthy....I would like to know the cost for anti viral medication... for a foreigner in Cebu... Just a estimate would be fine...I done research online and noticed that Vincente Sotto is a hub... I called the Pharmacy and they said they dont distribute anti virals... so I am confused... any suggestion or help.. 

I would like to know as soon as possible... if you cant answer my question maybe you can refer me to someone that might help me..

Thanks so much..


Hi JC.

Thank you for your email. Although we already chatted on viber and already gave you my advice, I still would like to answer your email so others can learn from it.

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

1. The ARV's in the Philippines are not for sale. The reason for this is that all ARV's in the country are from the grants provided by the Global Fund. They are not available in any pharmacies for that matter.

2. Only Filipinos and foreign national with an ACR card or permanent residency certificates have access to these free ARV's.

3. For foreign nationals, aside from the ACR card/permanent residency certificate from the Department of Immigration of the Philippines, an HIV test should be done here in the country to be accepted in the HIV/AIDS Treatment Hubs.

4. All Filipinos and foreign nationals with the required documents will have to be enrolled in the treatment hub and will follow the protocol of enrolment. Each hub has its own policy and everyone should abide by their required procedures.

5. The foreign national who is under ARV treatment from another country will have to follow the ARV prescription of the Hub's HIV doctors. The ARV's here are very limited in kind and the doctors usually prescribe the equivalent of the ARV's available here. 

JC, we have good HIV doctors here and I know that when you move here, after procuring all legal documents from the DOI, you will still get the best treatment possible.

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

Stay healthy,

NO PLHIV is alone with his or her struggle with HIV!"


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