HIV treatment in The Philippines : What you need to know.
Latest innovations already allows HIV Testing at home using HIV test kit in the Philippines. Treatment however, still remains largely underfunded and The Philippines is one of the countries in the world with the lowest budget for HIV treatment hence, the HIV affected individuals themselves are the most affected with financial burden of having the disease.
The cost of HIV Treatment in The Philippines
Government support is currently available at the Public Hospitals for people living with HIV who need to undergo antiretroviral treatment or therapy (ART). And there is one other treatment performed by experts and on to San Lazaro or RITM, But take note that the practice privacy in terms of contactable disease such as HIV being the most common will be divulged and you’ll be listed as a HIV positive.. But when you are blessed with big bucks the only other 2 hospitals that possessed remarkable HIV specialty ward is Makati Med and Medical City. be also aware that admitting to this hospitals will definitely be costly , RITM will be far loftier in terms of cost and expertise than Makati Med and Medical City. HIV treatment in The Philippines still uses the older medication and not the newest recommended drug called Atripla.
Counting the cost
A person living with HIV will have to take medication throughout his lifetime. The initial treatment costs the government at least P7,920 a year per PLHIV. The onset of health complications means more medicines and a higher cost of at least P11,520 per year.When making a budget based on the forecast of the annual increase in cases, the health department adds a buffer or an extra allotment.
Not for all
Not everyone who tests positive for HIV undergoes antiretroviral therapy, based on the recommendations of the World Health Organization. The main thrust in medication which means physicians focus on boosting the patients’ immune system to fight off infection while keeping the cost to a minimum. The side effects vary, depending on the kind of drug. For Zidovudine and Lamivudine, these include diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, headache and muscle pain or myopathy. If the patient requires further referral or management, the team members will facilitate such referrals,” he said. Laboratory tests, whose costs are borne by the PLHIV, are conducted on a case-to-case basis. The initial cost is less than P1,000, which includes a complete blood count, chest X-ray, and liver and kidney profile. The results will form the basis for the ART. HIV treatment in The Philippines is indeed not affordable to everyone as it is not 100% free.
To help PLHIV with their medical costs, and to support the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goal 6 of halting or reversing the incidence of HIV by 2015, the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth) late last year implemented the Outpatient HIV/AIDS Treatment Package.
Philhealth will reimburse up to P30,000 a year the cost of medicines, laboratory exams including the CD4 level determination test and the anti-retroviral drug toxicity monitoring test, and doctors’ professional fees of those confirmed to have HIV or AIDS who require treatment.
ART entails commitment from the patients because this will continue for a lifetime. They are also encouraged to find out if they have other health problems.
“(Antiretroviral) treatment will not kill the virus. It is (only) an aid to fight infection,” said Alera.
“The patients will need good family support to encourage them to take medication, and with support they are less depressed. It is important that the HIV-positive individual maintain his health,” he said. AIDS death numbers are low because ART is now extending the lives of PLHIV by delaying the onset of AIDS, and because some deaths due to AIDS are not recognized as such.