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. midnight says:

    may tanong po ako, sana po masagot ninyo. yung friend ko po kasi nalaman na hindi lang daw sa sexual intercourse nakukuha ang hiv kundi sa karayom din. nung july lang, nagpa anti rabbies siya sa isang center at libreng bakuna. ngayon, pangalawa kasi siya sa pila na nainjectionan. hindi niya sigurado tuloy kung napalitan ba yung karayom o baka nagooverthink lang daw po siya. kung magpapacheck ba siya, malalaman po ba kaagad na may hiv siya? o aabot pa ng ilang taon bago lumabas ang resulta?

    • kon says:

      what.
      while it’s true na pwede ka mahawa ng hiv that way, i doubt na reused ung needle na ginamit sa friend mo. count at least 6-8 weeks from the day sya nabakunahan to get tested. testing only takes few minutes. Do not count on symptoms. good luck

  2. kon says:

    it’s funny how this help (comment) section has now turned into shitposting section ng ilang masasamang elemento. personally i do not care kung maniwala kayo sa mga trolls. At the end of the day, it’s your health. stay safe.

  3. Bakla ng taon says:

    Question. Sana masagot po. For example gumamit po ng dildo or sex toy isang pos. Tapos di nya hinugasan pagkagamit at nilagay sa plastic. Mga ilang days po magiging active o mabubuhay yung semen na may vuris niya sa sex toy para makahawa sa ibang gagamit nito. Salamat😊

    • jin says:

      ang pagkaka alam ko ay seconds lang ma expose sa hangin ang virus ay namamatay

      • Mel says:

        Sir jin conclusive na ba yung 3 months nr result? Should i still be worried? Or should i rest my mind na? I really want to move on na kasi.. 🙁 thank you po sa sagot..

      • Bakla ng taon says:

        Kahit po agad niya ibinalot sa plastic..???

        • HB says:

          Namamatay ang virus 5 seconds outside sa katawan ng tao..

          • Bakla ng taon says:

            Like what i said po kahapon. Umorder po kasi ako ng dildo online so nung dumating agad ko ginamit at hindi ko na nahugasan. Napansin paramg mejo. May konti lang naman ako nakita na dumi so kinabahan ako baka kako gamit na naipadala sa akin😭 sana praning lang ako.

          • HB says:

            Kesyo kahapon pa dumating yan o kung kelan man.. Ang sabi ko nga 5 seconds patay na ang hiv sa labas ng katawan ng tao.. Kahit pa second hand yan.. Wag mag overthink. You are safe. Pero syempre unhygienic yang ginawa mo dahil di mo muna sinanitize.. Anyway.. Wag na magisip.. Wala yan

    • kon says:

      you don’t get hiv from sex toys that way, accdg yan sa mga nabasa kong forums moderated by experts.
      kung ako ikaw, I’d be more worried about contracting other STIs.
      get tested as early as 6-8 weeks, i think you’ll get non reactive result. good luck.

  4. karensy763 says:

    guys, i tested with fujibio… super kaunti lang ng blood yet just 2 or 3 minutes nag line na agad sa T. You think this is false positive or hindi talaga nag kakamali ang fujibio as what I have read here?

    • Imme says:

      Pa double check mo sa loveyourslef sa gil puyat…dalhin mo yung kit mo at explain mo sa kanila pos yan

      • Mel says:

        Sir imme conclusive na ba yung nr result 3 months post exposure? Should i still be worried or should i rest my mind na? Yung anxiety ko bumabalik nanaman kasi.. 🙁 i really want to move on.. 🙁 thank you po sa sagot..

  5. Mel says:

    Conclusive na ba talaga yung test 3 months after last intercourse? Should I still be worried parin ba? I really want to move on na talaga kasi.. 🙁 False informations are not welcome.. Thank you..

  6. LJ says:

    Lira Suangco may kulgo ang puday

  7. Bakla ng taon says:

    Sa papaanong sitwasyon ka po ba mahahawa gamit ang sex toy.

  8. Bakla ng taon says:

    Hi. Ask ko lang kung makakauha ba ng HIV sa dildo (sex toy) umorder kasi ako sa Lazada at nung dumating bira agad😂 di ko na nahugasan. May risk po kaya yun. Salamat. Respect po.

  9. Pamanine says:

    I need help, Please PM me or you may contact
    +639179464802

  10. Jojo for sure says:

    Maari po bang mahawaan ng HIV ang blow job? And pag lunok ng sperm cell? Wala pong penetration to ah, blow job lang talaga.

  11. Black clown says:

    Hi. nag test ako kahapon via Fijibio HIV kit and came out NEGATIVE. conclusive kaya yung Result last exposure ko was 7-8 years ago pa.

    • Marx says:

      haha oo conclusive napo!

      • sad says:

        wag ka.maniwala ky marx baliw yan..

        • Marx says:

          2 kami nagsabi na conclusive na Sad… hehehe… BOBO BOBO BOBO BOBO BOBO BOBO BOBO ANAK NG PUTANG.INANG BOBO! MAY ASAWANG POSITIB! HAHA

          • sad says:

            uu pero mali yan information nyo..dapat hindi kayo nag bigay nang conclusion kasi may mga tao talaga na after 1 year bagi sila nag positive..

          • HB says:

            Tanga ka sad! Basahin mo nga! 7-8 years ago pa exposure! Ikaw nga e umalis na dto.. Panggulo ka dito e.. Nagdadagdg ka sa anxiety ng mga tao! Kung ako sayo aasikasuhin mo nalang pamilya mo kesa nagbababad ka dto at nanggugulo! Wag ka magbigay ng wrong information dto!

          • sad says:

            totoo yan sinasabi ko..ako.nga hindi pa na dedetect pero na raramdaman ko talaga na positive ako..ngayon mga mata namin namumula at makati ..kaya hiv na talaga to..

          • Marx says:

            pa sodomize ka sa lalaking positive sad.. tiyak wish come true ka na in 4weeks! hahaha

          • HB says:

            Wala kaming pakielam sayo sad.. Paulit ulit ka nalang! Sinasagot namin ng maayos mga tanong dito tapos sasabihin mo wag pakinggan o wag maniwala! Uulitin ko, walang may pakielam sa nararamdaman mo dto! Mag focus ka sa asawa at anak mo hindi yung ginagawa mong diary tong site na to at nagpapakalat ng kung ano anong impormasyon na wala naman basehan.

          • Marx says:

            namumula at makati ang mga mata nio Sad? Google mo kaya ang SORE EYES? Anak ng puta kang BOBO ka

          • sad says:

            puta ka din..may sore eyes ba na 5months na..sore eyes pa ba yan? hiv na.to gagu..

    • Hb says:

      Yes that is conclusive.. Stay safe

    • Kai says:

      San po kyo bumili?

  12. Nhel says:

    San po may testing site near monumento na open ngaun at magkno ?? Need help po please ..

  13. Steve says:

    Natatakot ako mag pa test alam nyo yun iisipin mo palang pero sobra na po akong kinakabahan pano kung meron nga ako sakit? Isa yan sa mga kinakatakot ko. Dati kasi parang nagkatulo ako pero gumaling na xa naranasan ko kasi yun masakit yun ari na parang sobrang inet at ang sakit kahit na nagmamasturbate lang ako. Tapos may lumalabas na puti na parang nana. Hnd pako nakapag pa test dahil natatakot ako lalo na sa bansang to. Nag cocondom naman ako pero meron time na wala pero yun time na wala dun pako tinamaan ng tulo. Actually hnd ako nagpa test pero alam ko na tulo yon. Ramdam ko eh. Sa ngayon magaling na pero ang kinakatakot ko pano kung may hiv nako wala lang sign kasi may kaibigan ako na POZ bago daw xa nagka hiv nagka tulo muna xa nilagnat at nagka singaw na marami. Hnd naman ako nilagnat or nag kasingaw pero alam ko nagka tulo ko. Pano kung may HIV ako wala lang sign? Ngayon may mga butlig na maliliit na makati pero pag may nilalagay ako creme nawawala naman. Pero araw araw meron eh. Kaya ako napunta sa page nato ksi nag si search ako sa google kung yun butlig ba na maliit na makati is sign ng hiv. Pero mostly nababasa ko hind makati. Pero sana nga hindi. Hnd pa kasi ako nagpapatest hnd rin ako pede magpatingin. If possible kasi POz ako sigurado ako papauwiin ako ng pilipinas.

  14. Marx says:

    nakita ko sa abscbn news kanina.. namention pangalan ni lira suangco.. nireklamo daw ng mga katrabaho nia kasama c atty na babae na nasa TV dati… tungkol sa corruption ung reklamo.. pero parang hindi ako naniniwala kasi ung mga naninira kay suangco umaabot dito.. hindi naman gawain yan ng matino.. kung may problema kayo sa kanya, isumbong nio sa tamang ahensya/opisina.. nwei, just saying… peace..

    • sad says:

      wag kayo manilawala chosmosang bayot hahahaha fuckdot

      • Marx says:

        ikaw cguro ung naninira kay lira suangco dito noh? kc hindi ka rin matino eh… baguhin mo na pangalan mo.. add 2 letters… “saYAd”

        Mahangin ngaun, mag iingat kau ng pamilya mo. Bka liparin kau ng hangin kau ng asawa mong positib at mga anak mo dahil “nanghihina” na kau dba haha

  15. aik says:

    whos going to get tested tmrw? sabay tyo? kinakabahan ako. please….

  16. Imme says:

    Pag 3 mo ths nin reactive ka. Ibang case na yan. Nag test ako 1 and 3 months non reactive. Pag 3 months after exposure nr. Safe kana. Kung my na raramdaman ka pa check ka nlng sa iabng doctor. Family med. kasi indi lahat na my symtoms my hiv kana. Di ganun… ok. 3MONTHS AFTER NANG EXPOSURE AY CONCLUSIVE NA..

  17. Care says:

    Is taking herbal supplement it would give you inaccurate result..yes or no..anyone can answer my question.

    • Harot says:

      It’s a dumb question which cannot be answered by yes or no.

      • jayson says:

        napa test po ako sa may manila hygienic clinic sa may manila in front of san lazaro hospital. firat test ko last august is negative tapos thia july negative ulit accurate po ba ung hiv testing nila? salamat po

  18. Superman says:

    Lira Suangco may kulugo sa puday https://youtu.be/VBzHr6KrU-U

  19. sad says:

    wag talaga kayo maniwala sa 3 months window period..kasi akk dami ko nararamdaman..na para sa akin positive na talaga ako..kasi yong isang mata ko lgeh namumula..pumapayat ako..yong balat ko dry..tapos lgeg ako pagod..nang hihina..positive talaga ako pero hindi pa na detect..
    kaya payo ko mag pa test kayo after 1 year of exposuee..yam din ang sabi nang doctor..

  20. hays says:

    patulong po. para po kasing my maliit na bukol sa kilikili ko. d ko po alam kung lymph nodes po to. huhu anu po kaya ito?

  21. Harot says:

    YouTube about HIV. Don’t be left in the dark.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Xak0Q_IY5E&t=78s

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