Third This Week!

Posted by Pozziepinoy on 11:26 AM

The Project Red Ribbon Care Management Foundation (TRR) has been helping indigent PLHIV's nationwide. It does what it could, in providing assistance thru the TRR Love Fund, by referring clients to different government agencies for assistance, including PhilHealth, PCSO, DSWD and local government units.

But still young people die of HIV and AIDS here in the Philippines, mostly because of late HIV diagnosis. Because of stigma and discrimination, people don't take the HIV test. The age range is becoming younger and younger from 15-29 years old. Awareness is starting to get strong (even after 30 years since HIV has been discovered) but still only a miniscule of the population has been tested. 

Another factor why young people are dying here is because of the health care services. In the Philippines, yes ARV's are free and the baseline tests for HIV are free. However, when it comes to opportunistic infections, only a fraction can be covered by PhilHealth. The rest of the expenses are shouldered by the patients in general. Because of this, those who have HIV are scared to get treatment because of the high cost even when knowing the fact that the worst their condition will become, the greater the financial burden it will become to both the patient and the client. Sad to say, but a lot of people die here not because they are not adherent to their ARV's but because of poverty.

TRR is really trying its best to solve this hard issue of health care. For 3 months now, it has spearheaded a campaign to expand the coverage of PhilHealth for the benefit of the PLHIV community. Happy to say, that we have given as much recommendations for expanded coverage and soon it will signed. We are also lobbying for reforms in the health sector, help in increasing the budget for HIV, provided proposals for an HIV medical package in PCSO and sent letter even to our dear President Noynoy for assistance.

This week alone, TRR had 3 PLHIV deaths because of cryptococcal meningitis, a very rare fungal infection which is very fatal to immunocompromised individuals with a very long and costly treatment. These people, though we have lost them during our battle for reforms, will serve as an inspiration to TRR to become more focused, more efficient with our endeavors. May time be at our side, to save lives.

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