On HIV Kits, Symptoms and HIV Treatment

Posted by Pozziepinoy on 7:16 PM

Good day ...... Ako ay bumili ng hiv kit online dahil nahihiya ako pumunta sa testing centers..... At pagamit ko... Napatunayan Kung positibo ako sa Hiv.... Ask ako Kung sino pwede Kung mapagtanungan regarding s aking kalagayan....,, ayun s aking nababasa online mas maganda daw ang pag treat ng Hiv sa thailand dahil sa makabago nila ng pagsasaliksik at mas mura ..... Any idea kung magkano ang gastos if Kung sa thailand ako magpapagamot? At if Kung sa makati med ako pupunta ? Magkano? Anu b ang mga unang   n gagawin ko? Sa Ngaun,,... Ayun s nabasa ko symptoms .... Nararanasan ko n sya... Ang arawaraw n pagtatae at mga rashes s katawan ... S Ngaun tinatanggap ko n ang kalagayan ko... Gusto ko png humaba ang buhay ko... Para s pamilya ko.... Wala ako mapagtanungan... Sana matulungan nyo ako.... Takot ako pumunta s mga pampublikong ospital..... Saka May Trabaho ako Ngaun.... Maaari b nila ako tanggalin s aking work? Sana marinig ko ang Inyong reply....... Maraming Salamat ....... 


TRANSLATION

Good day. I bought an HIV (testing) kit online because I am scared to go to the testing centers. When I used it, i found out that I am HIV positive. I would like to ask who can I ask about my condition. Based on what I read online, it is best to get HIV treatment in Thailand because they have new researches and cheaper. Do you have any idea how much if I would get treatment in Thailand? If, however, I would get treatmet in Makati Med (Medical Center), how much would it cost me? What should be the first thing that I should do? As of now, based on the symptoms that I’ve read, I am experiencing them now. Daily diarrhea and body rashes. For now I am accepting my condition. I want to have a long life, for my family. I have nobody to ask. I hope you can help me. I am scared to go to any public hospital. Also, I have work noe. Would my company fire me? I hope to hear from you. Thank you.

POZZIEPINOY’S RESPONSE

Hi there,

First of all, thank you for sending me an email and sharing your concerns with me and my readers. It is really hard for anybody to experience what you are feeling right now, but the Project Red Ribbon website is the best site to go to. It has a big resource of information about HIV and AIDS here in the country and the experience of others can really educate you.

It is easy to get information online but what is lacking is the actual truth based on the experience of people, of others who are really knowledgeable about our disease. We have a vast information here and you can back read and learn from the blog posts.

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

1. Let me tell you about the testing kit that you bought. First, we don't know if it is really accurate and second, it is really against the HIV law (RA 8504) to have self-testing kits without pre- and post-counselling from certified HIV counselors. The issue is some people who got tested from these kits get emotional trauma from the result without somebody to guide him or her on the next steps to do. Like what happened to you, you just resorted to getting information from the internet when in fact, by taking the actual HIV test done in DOH-certified clinics, you will be properly guided and be given all options for treatment. 

2. Who to ask about your condition? We won't know if you really are HIV positive until you get tested in the DOH-affiliated testing centers. Project Red Ribbon can assist you with that. You may call our HIV hotline numbers and talk to our counselors for proper guidance and assistance. They can all give you the information that you need.

3. Is it best to get treatment in Thailand? If we are talking about the wide range of antiretroviral medicines, Thailand has more options than the Philippines. In their country, HIV treatment was aggressive since 1989, thus there had been research studies conducted there. I really have no idea on how much the cost of treatment in Thailand. Of course, as a Filipino, you may need to pay for all their HIV services and their medicines. Also, you may have to fly every time you need to get consultation with the HIV doctors, monitoring of side effects of the ARV's and succeeding laboratory tests. These are the things you may have to consider in getting treatment in other countries, for than matter.

4. Cost of Treatment in Makati Medical Center? MMC is one of the private HIV and AIDS treatment hubs in the country. This means that even though the ARV's are FREE and are subsidized by the Department of Health, one has to pay for the HIV doctor's consultation and laboratory fees. Roughly for a private hub, one has to pay from P7,000 - P15,000 which includes the baseline tests and excludes the other tests that your HIV doctor would require especially now that you are experiencing symptoms. 

5. What are the first things that I should do?

    a. You need to get tested in an HIV testing center affiliated by the DOH. 
        The repeat test is needed as you can't be enrolled in the Philippine HIV and AIDS
        Treatment hub without the confirmatory HIV test. If you are still scared to go to the
        testing center, please call our HIV hotline numbers and our counselors can either guide 
        you or have you assisted by our volunteers to go to the testing centers.

    b. Once your test turns out to be positive, you will be referred to the HIV and AIDS 
        treatment hub of your choice. 
        i. You need to present your HIV confirmatory test for enrolment. 
       ii. In government HIV and AIDS treatment hubs, the HIV doctors consultation is free.
      iii. In government hubs, baseline tests are discounted or may be free depending on 
          which hub you will go to.
      iv. Both in government and private hubs, laboratory tests of opportunistic infections or
          infections associated with AIDS may not be free.
      v. Some hubs would want you to attend a series of counselling prior to treatment
      vi. Most hubs would already require you to bring a copy of your PhilHeath contributions
          to enroll you in the out-patient HIV and AIDS treatment (OHAT) package.
     vii. Prescription of ARV's rely on the level of your CD4 count. The CD4 test detects the 
          level of your immune system and is part of the baseline test. The CD4 test not only 
          determine if you will be given ARV's but also if you need prophylaxis againts
          opportunistic infections. Other laboratory tests will be prescribed if one has very
          low CD4 count to determine the presence of disabling opportunistic infections.

Treatment is tedious during the first weeks after ARV prescription. Monitoring of side effects is crucial to know how your body is reacting to the ARV's. You need to partner with your HIV doctor, to give you instructions and guidance on how you deal about the treatment procedures. During this time also, it is best to have a strong support system either from your family or your friends. The Project Red Ribbon conducts weekly Support Group Talks (SGT) that you can attend to. You can just be a part of the audience or an active participant. What is important is for you to feel the vibe of the group and listen to the success stories. SGT's are very therapeutic as it uses group therapy for acceptance and getting wisdom from the
experiences of others.

6. On diarhea and rashes. You already have some symptoms and maybe indicative of a weakening immune system. Please take immediate action. Fear equates to late diagnosis and treatment, which in turn results to more expensive treatment. If I were you, I would get tested and treatment fast. The earlier the better. Don't waste time anymore. You will be scared forever if you won't take the first steps now. Your symptoms may worsen and the family that you so love will be more burdened. 

7. I am scared to a public hospital. It is your choice. If you can't afford private hospitals and hubs, why do you have to go there? The treatment is the same. Of course, you get what you pay for, meaning if you are willing to pay for the cost of baseline tests and treatment, then you don't have to line up for consultation and treatment which happens in government hubs. However, like what I said, if you can't afford treatment in private hubs, go to the government hubs. You will also be treated without discrimination there as the staff are all trained to handle HIV and AIDS patients and they are trained about the HIV law which protects the rights of all PLHIV.

If you are still scared, our volunteers can assist you to take the test and get treatment. Please talk to our counsellors by calling our HIV hotline numbers. We will take care of you, like a real brother.

8. Would my company fire me because I have HIV? They can if they are not empowered or if they don't know the law. However, you can file a lawsuit against them as it is a violation of the HIV Law (RA 8504). Project Red Ribbon has partnered with another group that provides FREE legal service. In case you company fires you and discriminates you because of HIV and AIDS, please call our hotline numbers and we can discuss about it.

The time to act is now. Your HIV testing kit which you bought online may not be accurate. Go to the HIV testing center and know the truth. Project Red Ribbon is here to assist you if you need us. We are your new family and we will be together until you are back on your feet and living your life again even with HIV.

QUESTIONS ABOUT HIV AND AIDS?
WANT TO GET TESTED?
CALL US!

TRR HIV Hotline Numbers 


0928-908-6288
0977-131-2046
0906-389-2402
 0917-899-0473
0927-823-0300 
0917-932-3122
0916-216-2066

If you want to join a private HIV support group in Facebook, please add our Online Care Manager, Tomasito Ang Suta, or our Program Coordinator, Keren Augustin C. Blances and request to be added in the group. We have a lot of PLHIV, counselors, HIV doctors, advocates and supporters who you can talk to.

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


Stay healthy,
Pozziepinoy






"Spreading Compassion"

-Project Red Ribbon-



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