HIV Testing in the Philippines – What you need to know and what you must know.

HIV Testing in the Philippines – How to get tested.

The Department of Health now ranks Philippines as one of the countries that has the fastest growing HIV epidemic in the world with a prevalence rate of 5% nationwide. There is a 20-25% prevalence rate in Metro Manila and 15-20% prevalence rate in Cebu. This rate dwarfed the prevalence rate in South Africa, which has the largest population of HIV positive individuals in the world, with a mere 4.7%. Prevalence rate refers to the percentage of individual affected by the disease at specific time. With that in mind, we can say that right now, in a population of 110 Million Filipinos, there are 5.5 Million individuals currently living with HIV.

Mere 5 years ago when I started making this blog, The Philippines is a low prevalence country with less than 1% of the population affected by HIV. This rapidly growing epidemic if left uncontrolled will eventually make The Philippines at par with South Africa with 1 out 10 individuals affected with HIV. So what went wrong? As a nurse with 15 years experience handling HIV cases and working actively with HIV positive individuals, here are my personal conclusions, do take note that this conclusions are not even close with the official conclusion of the Department of Health on why HIV became a rapidly growing epidemic in The Philippines. I personally think that their conclusion is too traditional and not in touch with the modern activities of our youth.

  1. DOH says that the resistance of the Church to some forms of birth control is a contributing factor on the HIV epidemic right now. I say that HIV is most commonly seen in the young population. A population that makes their own decision and is rebellious to the church teachings. Though the Church could have cause some sort of contribution, I do believe that the lack of sex education in our school particularly to our youth is a more blameable culprit than the Church. Did you know that people ages 14 to 30 makes up the 95% of newly diagnosed HIV cases each month and the median age of affected individual for the last 5 years is just 28 years old?
  2. DOH says prostitution or sex for money is a contributing factor of the epidemic and should be eradicated. I say that, prostitution cannot be eradicated. Since the dawn of human civilization, there is prostitution and it is something that is very hard to control much less eradicated from our society. What DOH can do is to provide an ID system and free monthly checkup to our sex workers to protect them as well as the people that they serve. This will also encourage the client to only have sex with a “clean” sex worker. This will also further educate our sex workers on proper ways of protecting themselves from different sexually transmitted infection as well as unwanted pregnancy.
  3. DOH says that persons under 18 who wants to test for HIV should require parental consent. I say that, I have clients with HIV at age 13, 14, 15… and that is because of failure in health promotion. The accessibility of casual sex thru apps like Grindr and other dating apps makes it very easy for 2 complete strangers to have sex consensually and thus, spreading the virus like wildfire to our young and techie population. These individuals would never dare to ask their parents permission to go with them and get tested, our culture against premarital sex and our bigotry against the LGBT makes it impossible to do so. HIV testing should be accessible to ANYONE at ANY AGE on their own volition.

THE CURRENT STATISTICS (2017)

It is estimated that there 1,000 reported HIV cases per month since the 6 months of 2016. At that rate, we can assume that there are 30 to 50 reported HIV cases daily. This does not include unreported cases. Unreported cases are HIV positive individuals who do not know they are infected. The epidemic growth rate is about 200% per year. This means that if not controlled, we could see a tenfold growth of HIV cases (300-500 cases per day) within the next 10 years.

– DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

HOW TO GET TESTED: HIV TESTING IN THE PHILIPPINES

One of the most important thing to do to prevent transmission is knowing your status. HIV is a very controllable disease as long as it is detected early and has not yet done major damage to your organs most specially the Liver, Kidneys and the Brain. There are many ways of getting tested for HIV in the Philippines. We will discuss each of them, one by one including their advantages and disadvantages.

I. Hospitals

Testing by going to hospitals is one of the most common means of getting tested. There are 5 hospitals in our country that specializes with HIV counseling and testing as well as referrals in case you tested positive and needing further treatment. In no particular order: RITM, San Lazaro Hospital, St. Lukes Medical Center both in Quezon City and Global, Makati Medical Center and Medical City in Ortigas. Do take note that the cost for HIV testing is around 1,100 to 3,800 in the private hospitals I mentioned.

PROS: If done correctly, results are very accurate. This is also the only results acknowledged in various employment and immigration requirements.

CONS: There is always an issue with regards to privacy and confidentiality getting tested  in any hospital. Though privacy is protected by our health care professionals, there are many incidents of information leakage caused by poor protocol with regards to transfer of information such as students getting free access to medical records without permission or a slip of tongue during a conversation of one of the member of the health care team handling the HIV case. Hacking is another risk when it comes to electronically stored medical information and records of medication being dispensed from the Pharmacy and to whom.

When it comes to public hospitals, though uncommon, there are recorded cases of results being switched between patients. It is not unheard of that a certain person tested positive though in reality, he is negative simply because a specimen sample was incorrectly labeled with his name. Lapse in judgment and concentration of our overworked and underpaid medical professionals is the main culprit in most cases.

II. Free tests done by Volunteer groups

HIV Test Philippines
We have friendly, volunteer groups that do testing for free. You can call them and schedule a visit and let them know that you are interested in getting tested.

LOVE YOURSELF MALATE HUB
#1850 Leon Guinto Street, Malate, Manila.
Contact: 353-8922

LOVE YOURSELF ANGLO HUB
Unit 5, 3/F, Anglo Building, #715-A Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City.
Contact: 0915-366-5683

PROS: Free and they offer counselling as well. Staff are very friendly, professional and trained.

CONS: Privacy and result confidentiality are concerns when it comes to free and public testing. Though trained, innocent conversations could lead to information leakage both consciously and unconsciously. There are cases wherein a Volunteer saw a recently positive patient in the mall and told his friend that “That guys just tested positive yesterday.”

III. HIV testing kits

HIV Testing in The Philippines Home Kit

Advanced home test kits like Fujibio HIV kit has 99.9% accuracy similar to that of Hospital based testing.

Testing kits are widely used as the main method in HIV detection in some hospitals and hygiene clinic. All free testing done by volunteer groups uses HIV test kits. HIV testing hubs also uses HIV kits. Medical missions and workplace testing will usually use HIV testing kits. They are easy to use with result at 99.9% accuracy seen in mere 10 minutes. The common brands in The Philippines are Fujibio and SD Bio. Fujibio is Japanese made while SD Bio is Korean made. Both should give an accurate result with 99.9% certainty similar to that of hospital based testing. Only Fujibio HIV test kits are the only one you can buy online.

PROS: Very easy to use and results are very accurate. I would personally recommend testing using test kits first as to give you an accurate idea of your status before going to the hospital. That way, you will know that you will test negative or positive in advance privately. It is also very convenient and you are assure that only you will know the result. Fujibio hiv test kits being sold online also offers free counseling.

CONS: Since the person that bought the kit will usually test himself or herself, Anxiety could lead to testing delay. Some people will contemplate for weeks before using the test kits and then eventually forgets that he bought one.

 


A positive HIV test using an HIV Home Test Kit

I TESTED POSITIVE. WHAT SHOULD I DO NEXT?

If you used any of my recommendations above in getting tested and you tested positive, DO NOT DESPAIR. HIV is a very controllable disease and achievement of undetectable viral load is the treatment goal. Living a normal life is very possible with HIV as long as treatment is started and adherence to the treatment regimen is established. We have 2 options in getting treated.

Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM)

RITM is the premiere and the leading facility in The Philippines when it comes to antiretroviral drug distribution as well as treatment for HIV patients. This should be your first choice in obtaining confirmatory results and further treatment if the initial testing result was positive. RITM is more specialized than San Lazaro and could deal with serious HIV related complications such as Mycobacterium Bovis infection as well as cryptococcal infection of the brain.

For commuters:

  1. Take a bus or van going to Alabang.
  2. Look for the Muntinlupa Fire Station.
  3. Ride a UV express/van or a multicab with a Filinvest Ikot route in front of the Orange Building and Festival Mall just besides the fire station.
  4. Tell the driver to drop you off at RITM.

Total estimated fare cost: 60 -120 Pesos.
For private vehicles:

  1. Proceed to SLEX.
  2. Exit at Filinvest.
  3. Turn left after the toll gate.
  4. RITM is just at the right side.

Process:

  1. Ensure that you arrive before 7:00 A.M for baseline testing. You will not be entertained if you arrive late.
  2. Once inside, simply proceed to the ARG clinic.
  3. Register.
  4. Proceed to the cashier and pay 150 pesos for the orange patient sheet.
  5. Proceed to ARG and await for your name to be called.
  6. CD4 testing for positive patients are available after 1:00 P.M except during Wednesdays and weekends.
  7. Distribution of antiretroviral drugs are given monthly. Maximum supply for 1 month is dispensed at the given schedule.
  8. Drugs should be free and is subsidized by Philhealth.

The Thai Red Cross Research Center

If you have the budget of about 25,000 pesos every 6 months, a possible alternative is getting tested and treated in Thailand. The Thai Red Cross Aids Research Center is one of the most advanced HIV treatment facility in the world eclipsing RITM. They use the most advanced drugs that you need to only take once a day as compared to a cocktail of 2-3 medications that the Philippines still uses. Blood works such as CD4 testing is around 500 pesos and results are ready in 3 days. The medications used in TRCARC are the best medications available and is very cheap, it will only cost you about 10,000 pesos for your 6 months supply. This same medication costs about 80,000 per 1 month supply in the United States. It is cheaper in Thailand because it is subsidized by the Thai Government. You can only purchase 6 month supply of the drug as they will require you to come back every 6 months for monitoring your health status. This advanced medication is only taken once a day and has very little side effects. They look like Centrum tablets.

HIV Thailand Treatment

The Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre
Address: 104 Ratchadamri Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
(5 minutes’ walk from the Rajdamri BTS station and Silom MRT station)

Tel. (+66) 2-256-4107-9
Fax: (+66) 2-254-7577
Website: www.trcarc.org

DISCLAIMER: We here at HIV Test Philippines testify that opinions we expressed above are based on what we believe are facts. We are not paid by nor endorsing RITM, TRCARC and other hospitals or products mentoined above. Information above are based on what we think are best with regards to getting tested in the Philippines. Contributors here at HIV Test Philippines are HIV Counselors and are working actively for more than 5-15 years in HIV clinics in the Philippines.

Comments

  1. J says:

    Lira Suangco positive for HPV and has genital warts

    https://youtu.be/VBzHr6KrU-U

  2. J says:

    Lira Suangco has hov and genital warts. Be wary.

  3. Mr.Anxious says:

    Guys tanong ko lang sa mga taga cebu. Ang counseling ba pag nagpatest individual o sabay sabay kayo? Sana po may sumagot. Thanks

  4. Jake says:

    May libre bang pagamotan ang hiv near in pangasinan??

  5. J says:

    Lira Suangco HPV positive and has genital warts
    https://youtu.be/UHI2hUevj08

  6. J says:

    Lira Suangco positive for HPV and has genital warts

  7. J says:

    Lira Suangco has HPV.

  8. Curious says:

    Can we get HIV from sex toys?

  9. Me says:

    Saan po ba pwding magpa check up around cabanatuan ang my hiv pki sgot nmn po at napepentang nako kakaisip hnd pa po ako nagpapa test pero mga sintomas po kc meron ako pls po pki sgot po

  10. Mr.Anxious says:

    At san ba talaga mas axxurate magpa test? Sa hospitals, laboratory o sa mga love urself? Gulong gulo na talaga isipan ko. Guato ko sana na pag magpatest eh accurate na talaga..lasy exposure ko unprotrcted mga may 2019 pa.pero last july 2019 may isang girl nag bj sakin at nagkiss kami. Magkaibang girl po sila sa may expoaure ko. Alam kong low risk ang bj pero may risk pa din. Straight guy pala ako. Pls help naman po. Pls

    • Mr.Anxious says:

      Natatakot naman ako sa kit kasi may nag false negative o positive. Yong accurate sana. Kong mag 4th gen ba ako na test accurate na yun? Sana po may sasagot.huhuhh

      • kon says:

        the HIV blood test is one of the most accurate test available, given that you test outside the window period which is 3 months. get tested kahit sa free (LYS) wnd you should be good. Oral sex is low risk, lalo na sa case mo. Negative /NR yan, good luck!

        • Mr.Anxious says:

          Salamat sa reply sir kon. Kaya ko tinanong kasi nagka hepa b ako dati 15 yrs ago na ata.. Pero na treat na un pero ganun paman pos na, d na kasi mag nenegative. May nabasa kasi ako dito nag nag faflase pos daw pag may ganun ka. Kaya ko tinatanong. Sobrang paranoid na talaga ako.

          • Mr.Anxious says:

            Kaya tinatanong ko ung accurate talaga kasi sa tingin ko di ko kakayanin kong sakaling hindi acxurate ang result. Nakakabaliw na sa kaba. Huhuhu

  11. Mr.Anxious says:

    Sino taga cebu na natatakot magpa test? Pwede sabay na lang tayo. Takot din kasi ako. Tanong ko lang din kong sang hospital may 4th gen na test.sobrang natatakot na talaga ako.d ako makatulog ng maayos at sobrang aga ko nagigising.

  12. Juandelacruz says:

    Negative po kame kaso 10yrs mahigit nako nakapag test pero by glory of god negative gusto ko lang malaman kung tlgang yung 4th gen na yun e effective salamat po

  13. Juandelacruz says:

    Kaya bang iditect ng 4th gen ang 10 to 12yrs na hiv ask lang kase nag pa test ako last january may nag sabi kase sakin yung ex ko daw 2008 may hiv nag gagamot daw kinausap ko nadin meron nga sya kaya nag pa test negative po sa ritm pati wife at anak ko baka negative po lumabas 4th gen sabi ng counsil sakin salamat po sa sagot! Para matahimik din ako kakaisip salamat po tlga sa sagot

    • Juandelacruz says:

      Negative po kame kaso 10yrs mahigit nako nakapag test pero by glory of god negative gusto ko lang malaman kung tlgang yung 4th gen na yun e effective salamat po

  14. Jay says:

    Last test ko ng june negative ako.
    Tas my old man ako na karelasyon and lagi ako ngcocondom. Safe nmn daw sya.
    Pero i out lube first tas condom tas lube uli outside the condom.
    Thick condom dnagamit ko

  15. Jay says:

    Ok ba pag nglagay k ng lube bago condom tas lube uli before sex.

  16. Mako says:

    Hi! I’m having panic attacks right now because sunod sunod ang mga linggo na nagkakasakit ako. I had contact last Feb to March. One moment, (just once) he did enter his tool to my hole with a condom then after several weeks we split, Iater I found out that for a year already- he was HIV Pos which he didn’t tell me at first that’s why we broke up. I’m really scared if this is the effect since ngayon ko lng naalala na may ganun pala kming encounter.

    Pls help me and maybe someone can explain what are the possibilities. Thank you guys

    • Jonas says:

      Possibilities na nahawa ka nya ei Kung nasira Yong condom nya habang nag sesex kayo..Ang Kung nag bbj ka tapos nilunok mo sperm nya…sorry for the term…patest ka nalang po para ma sure mo…

  17. please says:

    excuse po sa mga hiv positive po.. ano po symptoms nyo in 1st-2 weeks nyo?

  18. Damdam says:

    Guys.. i need help. I have sex with sex worker last october 5 2019. Gumamit na mn kmi ng condom but unfortunately yung girl di nya alam na may regla sya. May nabasa kasi ako na mas malaki ang possibility na mahawa ka ng hiv kapag may regla. Sabi nya nmn na malinis sya pero di ako nagpakampante. So guys may chance ba na mahawa ako ng hiv???

    • Jonas says:

      You used condom naman ei…so protected naman yon…wag na magamba bro..

      • Damdam says:

        Kasi bro himugasan ko yung ari ko na may condom at may dugo. Isa sa pinangangambahan ko na baka may napasok natubig sa loob ng condom.na.contaminated ng virus

      • Jonas says:

        Bro..remember this po…d nabubuhay Ang virus sa labas NG katawan NG Tao..3 to 5 seconds namamatay na agad Ang mga ito….and Yong sinasabe mo sa humalo sa tubig malabo un bro…d nabubuhay Ang virus sa tubig ….hehehe…chill Lang bro…if meron ka doubt..pa test ka bro…and I’m sure na negative ka..

  19. Lhian says:

    Hi gusto ko po sana bumili ng Fujibio kit
    Sang website po madali ng makabili
    Try ko po kc ung website na naka post sa video d naman po ako makapasok

  20. Tony says:

    Possible kaya na mag negative sa fujibio pero positive sa hospital???
    Meron nba dito yan??

  21. J says:

    Lira Hosea Herrera Suangco ng Public Attorney’s Office may genital warts at HPV
    https://youtu.be/VBzHr6KrU-U

  22. J says:

    Lira Suangco and her two sex partners. She is positive for HPV.
    https://youtu.be/owdE8Q00vSU

  23. J says:

    Lira Suangco has genital warts and HPV. She works in Public Attorney’s Office. She often visits St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City.

    https://youtu.be/1BQRp1SsJ38

  24. J says:

    Lira Suangco positive for HPV and with genital warts.
    09778103866

  25. Amon says:

    Reposting… hopefully someone could give advise…

    Hello guys. I have a concern. I had a contact last Sept 15. Nagdry humping ang guy and dumating yung time na he will bust na, and nailabas nya sa butthole ko. No penetration happened. Would that be a risk of HIV exposure? Thank you sa sasagot. Been bothered for days now.

  26. Jonas says:

    Get tested po muna…wag ka agad mag isip NG Kung Anu Anu..pa test ka muna po..😊😊
    Me mga skit tulad NG sau na d naman HIV Ang dahilan…

  27. Allan says:

    Pwd pong mgtanong? Safe po ba yung pricker na gnagmit mag hiv test? I mean yung auto prick… Ksi may nkita akong red spots, baka may dugo po ng previous na nagpatest.. Thanks po… Need your answer ksi napapraning ako sa gnamit na pricker yung automatic po, pro yung bala nya yung lancer (yung blue) pinapalitan naman. Thanks po

  28. Worried says:

    Meron Poba Dtu Nakaranas Ng Kulani Na Tumagal Na 3months Maga Pero Di Parin NawawaLa? 😭 Worried Lang Ksi Ako Kasi Pag Lumulunok Din Ako Parang May Nakaharang Sa Lalamunan Ko Pero Hindi Naman Masakit. 3monthd Nadin Sha Kasabay Ng KuLani Ko. WaLa Naman Akong Ubo Or Sipon Para Tumagal Ng 3Months To. Huhu Pumayat Din Po Ako And Laging Joint Pain. Diko ALam Gagawin And Pano Sasabihin Sa Asawa Ko If Ever May Hiv Ako 😭😭😭

    • Worried says:

      Huhuhu

      • js says:

        Is it possible na magkaroon ng std ang dalawang tao kahit first nila ang isat isa? One of us had a severe canker sores or ulcer sa mouth and the other had a bloody discharge during sex. My paranoia is solely based on the symptoms we see on the internet. Those are just the symptoms that are evident. May basehan ba pagpapanic ko?

  29. jp says:

    alam po kayo around las piñas city na HIV testing clinic or hospital

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