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The public is urged by PhilHealth to receive outpatient HIV treatments

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) sufferers are being urged by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to seek out outpatient care.

Emmanuel Ledesma Jr., the interim president, and CEO of PhilHealth stated in a news release that the outpatient HIV/AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) package is covered up to PHP30,000 per year or PHP7,500 each quarter.

The package is one of the advantages associated with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) at PhilHealth.

His statement read, “This includes payment for medication, laboratory tests, and professional opinions of providers of HIV/AIDS-related cases that have been tested in Rapid HIV Diagnostic Algorithm facilities, STD/AIDS Central Cooperative Laboratory, or the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.”

According to Ledesma, as of the end of 2022, PhilHealth has paid 15,191 claims from HIV treatment clinics, or 0.11 percent of the total number of claims for the year, totaling PHP108,463,468.

PhilHealth has accredited 103 public and 44 private HIV treatment clinics for outpatient HIV/AIDS care as of February this year.

Although outpatient HIV/AIDS therapies are covered by PhilHealth, Ledesma emphasized that since there is still no known cure for the condition, prevention is “still the best medicine.”

He continued, “Prevention is essential to help restrict the virus’s spread and lower the danger of transmission, thereby protecting people from infection and ultimately saving lives.

14,970 new HIV cases were discovered from January to December of last year, according to the Department of Health (DOH) 2022 HIV/AIDS register.

The number of instances in 2022 is 2,631 cases higher than the 12,339 cases reported in 2021, indicating a 21% rise.

The DOH also disclosed that seven minors under the age of 10 and 79 Filipinos between the ages of 10 and 19 had HIV diagnoses in just January 2023.

Officer in Charge of DOH Accessibility to social media, according to undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, may be a contributing factor in the rise in HIV incidence among teenagers and young adults.

Vergeire warned teens that their behavior could result in infections because sexual contact is the primary method of HIV transmission among cases.

Additionally, she reaffirmed that having HIV is no longer a “death sentence” due to the existence of medications that might extend the patient’s life.

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