Some Issues and Our Solutions

Posted by Pozziepinoy on 7:43 AM

For 6 years in  assisting clients under the Care Assistance Program of Project Red Ribbon, we have encountered issues and problems from HIV testing to disclosure to treatment, care and support. here are some of the issues and the solutions that we had encountered.
  1. HIV Testing and Disclosure Issues
  1. Confidentiality 

Although there are sporadic issues concerning confidentiality, still the Foundation has addressed them seriously. Some of them are:

  1. Issue 1: Testing sites staff not following guidelines of confidentiality.
        Some testing site staff open the confidential envelope before the client.

Solution: We contact the facility to remind that this against the law. We also ask the clients to openly report to us any issues like these.

b. Issue 2: Testing site staff gossiping about the client even just by getting tested. 

Solution: We cal the attention of the facility to remind them of the HIV law or RA 8504.

c. Issue 3: Fear to know the Result

Solution: through counseling we empower clients that it is better to get tested and know the result that know it later when its too late and more costly. Dealing with the result is better early on than dealing with it when the client already has opportunistic infections to deal with aside from the HIV itself.

Knowing the result early on leads to better management of the disease as management without infections, without taking extra medicine for infection leads to better acceptance.



2. Disclosure Issues

  1. Issue 1: When to disclose to family, partner for friends?

       Solution: Through counseling, we prioritize acceptance of HIV by the client first although in some instances some clients accept it fast by disclosing to a friend, family or sibling. We counsel clients that if and when he is ready to disclose then do it. 

b.    Issue 2: Disclosure compounded by Fear of Acceptance by Family, Friends and Partner

    Solution: Through counseling, we always remind clients that there is always a risk like in most undertaking. However, allow his or her family to be part of his support system and give them the opportunity to love and support him or her. Worst scenario is a loved one pushing people away, but that is not always the case.

Fear to be rejected is always an issue, but through counseling we empower clients that they won’t know until they try disclosing.

3. Fear to get fired from work. Some think that by disclosing his or her HIV status will lead to losing his or her job.

    Solution: Through counseling and educating about the HIV Law, we empower clients that he or she is protected by it. HIV testing even if it is in the list of the annual physical tests or exam, is voluntary under the law and nobody can force an employee to take it or even know the result without consent from the employee. Also, even if the client discloses to his boss or co-workers, he or she can’t be fired because of having HIV.

B. TREATMENT, CARE AND SUPPORT

  1. Issue 1: Financial issues. Majority of clients think that it would be hard for them to get treatment because they can’t afford the labs and medicines.

     Solution: Through counseling, we empower clients to understand the mechanism of treatment. We also educate clients how to get medical assistance from government agencies or organizations offering treatment assistance.

Antiretroviral medicines are free. These HIV medicines are paid for by the Department of Health and are available in all HIV and AIDS treatment hubs all over the countries. One just needs to have a confirmatory test result and one can be enrolled in a hub. If the CD4 level of the client is 500 or less, it is already recommended for ARV therapy.

For succeeding evaluation tests which happen every 6 months, as long as the client has PhilHealth membership, one can avail of the Out-patient HIV and AIDS Treatment Package (OHAT). Those clients who really can’t pay the monthly fee of around P200, because they indigent, one can ask their local government unit for assistance. 

2. Issue 2: Some Treatment Hubs are located far from the place they live.

Solution: Project Red Ribbon is empowering clients to understand that for now, there are limited number hubs per region, and in fact not all provinces have one. However, there are always one nearest the province. We also assure clients that sooner or later hubs will be put up near their place of residence to ease the burden of treatment accessibility.

3. Issue 3: Some treatment hubs don’t have CD4 or Viral Load machines. 

Solution: The Foundation educates clients that while there may be inadequacies, rest assured that other hubs can help out. The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine - AIDS Research Group for one can help those hubs with no CD4 machines or viral load machines. The biggest hub in Manila requests hubs to send their blood specimen to them for evaluation.

What is good about this is that the hubs are always helping clients even from other hubs.

4. Issue 4: Some hubs don’t have medicines for AIDS- related conditions or opportunistic infections.

Solution: The hubs are so linked with one another that if they have what other hubs need, they can surely help. A hub can communicate with other hubs as they are part off the community of treatment hubs which meet every time there is a treatment hub conference.

However, most assistance still come from Manila, especially from the Department of Health - National AIDS/STI Prevention and Control Program. 

Project Red Ribbon on the other hand, assists clients by linking to services from government agencies and non-government organizations for needed medicines. Sometimes, the Foundation helps through its Love Fund Program by directly assisting clients for medicines and even blood needs.

5. Issue 5: Lack of support groups in their areas.

Solution: Project Red Ribbon has been training groups of people living with HIV to have support groups near and around the treatment hubs. This would ensure that the PLHIV’s will have a group who can listen to their concerns and issues and even just an outlet and platform to bond as one family.

These are some of the issues that Project Red Ribbon has encountered in 6 years of its existence. The Foundation has been tried to help the National HIV program to address these issues and still is addressing the issues so that clients won’t lose hope, so that clients can get the best HIV service possible, and for HIV clients to eventually live a normal and productive life.

The Philippine HIV and AIDS Program is still evolving and we, as a Foundation will continue to help while we exist.



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

TRR HIV Hotline Numbers 

0915-427-3407
0906-390-1031
0927-287-8210
0975-387-3173

Office: TThS Phone Counselling
9am-4pm
(02) 656-7297


If you want to join a private HIV support group in Facebook, please add Darwin Tenoria, the TRR Program Director 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.


"Spreading Compassion"

-Project Red Ribbon-



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