Some Helpful FACTS About HIV in the Philippines

Posted by Pozziepinoy on 7:36 PM

I have been receiving a lot of emails and I would like to reiterate these very important facts about HIV.

A. There are 415 new cases reported in May 2013
     a. HIV is still on the rise in the country
     b. Unprotected sex is the predominant mode of transmission

B. HIV Treatment in the Philippines
    a. ARV's (HIV medicines) are free in ALL hubs
    b. Consultation is FREE in all government treatment hubs
    c. Baseline tests including CD4 test, etc:
        i. FREE in RITM-ARG in Alabang
        ii. Discounted rates in all the government Treatment hubs. Prepare around P5,000 to P6,000 to cover all lab work.
    d. Opportunistic infection tests, treatment and hospitalization are not covered by the treatment hubs
    e. Some vaccinations are covered by the hubs
    f. Viral Load test is around P6,000 to P15,000 depending on the hub. This is usually covered by
       PhilHealth as long as a PLHIV is an active member of the insurance company for a year and has   been on ARV's for one year in the hub.

C. HIV Test in the Philippines
    a. Some facilities  and organizations offer FREE HIV tests
    b. in hospitals and clinics, the HIV test costs around P500 to P1,500 depending on the facility
    c. There is always a pre- and post test counseling as required by law
    d. It is a confidential testing. The person has to provide in full detail his personal information.
    e. HIV test results:
        i. some offer same day result for rapid test
        ii. Some facilities release the rapid test result after a day
        iii. If the HIV test result is not released the following day and result has been sent to DOH, San Lazaro, or RITM, it means that the blood test has been positive for the rapid test and is being confirmed for the Western Blot Test.
         iv. Waiting period for the confirmatory test is around 2 weeks in Metro Manila and may extend up to a month in the provinces.

D. On ARV's
     a. FREE for Filipinos and foreign nationals with ACR Card or Certificate of Permanent 
     b. Not available in local pharmacies
     c. Not on sale in the country
     d. For OFW's working abroad, a 6 month to a year supply can be provided by the treatment hub. The PLHIV will have to discuss this with his or her current HIV doctor in the hub.

E. Tips About HIV
    a. Signs and Symptoms of HIV are non specific.
    b. Don't wait for symptoms to show up. When you have been exposed to HIV by having 
        unprotected sex, needle prick, sharing of needles, etc, please take the HIV test.
    c. Follow the protocol on HIV testing
        i. Immediate testing. There are cases wherein the body has already produced HIV antibodies even a few days or weeks. Remember, the earlier the antibodies to be detected, the earlier the treatment intervention
        ii. 3 months post exposure. This is the best time as most cases of HIV can be detected during this time.
        iii. 6 months post exposure. Most HIV doctors in the country still advocate this to really make a final confirmation of the HIV status.
        i. Use condoms
        ii. Don't just believe that your sex partner is "safe". Check his or her HIV Test result!
        iii. Don't mix alcohol and drugs during sex:
             - when intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, people tend to forget to use condoms
        iv. Always use new condoms. Check the expiration if it has one. Better to be safe than sorry.
     e. For OFW's in countries where workers with HIV banned, if you think you have been exposed, please take a quick trip back to the Philippines. Don't wait for months before taking the test! Don't delay it anymore. Don't wait for the symptoms. Come back and take the test. 

More helpful FACTs and TIPS will be posted in another blog entry....

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


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