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From the Editor

Your hub won’t release your confirmatory test result? Galit sila, walang kakayahan, o kikita pa sa PhilHealth

There are times when Filipinos with HIV need a copy of their confirmatory test result. And there are times when treatment hubs delay (or even refuse) to give this. And it’s time to call this out.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels.com

For Filipinos living with HIV, there are many times you’d need a copy of your HIV confirmatory test result.

As FYI, when you are screened for HIV (e.g. with those rapid test kits), and you tested “reactive”, your blood sample will then be sent to the various facilities (e.g. rHIVda/rapid HIV diagnostic algorithm sites, STD/AIDS Cooperative Central Laboratory/SACCL) for confirmatory testing. The final result, so to speak, will be contained in a document, your “confirmatory test result”.

Now… almost always, a PLHIV does not directly get a copy of the confirmatory test result. Instead, it is sent to your treatment hub, which is then used to enroll you in their system.

Meaning, if you’re moving to a new HIV treatment hub, your confirmatory test will have to be moved from your former treatment hub to the new one. Often, this is done via requesting of the new hub for the former hub to send over the document to formalize and finalize your transfer.

But then problems arise here, particularly when treatment hubs do not willingly release the document/s of PLHIVs who want to dump them.

And yet there are hubs that choose not to follow, and even violate this agreement. And this is due to a number of factors, including:

  • At times, binabakuran nila ang (they gatekeep) PLHIVs at least to buy themselves time. Particularly, some are waiting until a quarter is done. This way, they can then still collect the amount for the period from PhilHealth even if they did nothing at all to help the PLHIV, but stall the transfer. Truth: Common knowledge ito among hubs, particularly those having issues with getting documents needed to enroll transferees. Sadly, this isn’t even properly discussed in HIV-related gatherings. This highlights one of the biggest issues affecting the HIV community: Pera-pera lang (It’s all about money).
  • Pinapahirapan ka… kasi ayaw mo na sa kanila. They make you suffer because you’re choosing to leave them for their abuses. There are treatment hubs that do this, seriously; so if the release of your documents is taking more time than is necessary, pagsabihan mo na sila/speak up already.
  • Sadyang wala silang kakayahan (They’re not equipped) to handle PLHIVs… though, if this was the case, di sila dapat inaccredit ng (they should not have been accredited by) DOH as treatment hubs. But since accredited na nga/already, they should be de-accredited, or magsara na lang (they should just close). To be extremely blunt: treatment hubs that can’t do what they’re supposed to do (and yet still make millions from PLHIVs) should not exist.

Nasa punto tayo na dapat call out na natin ang mga abusadong (We’re at a point where we need to call out abusive) treatment hubs na kumakamkam ng (that amass) ₱39,500.00 per person living with HIV per year. This is even if hindi nila maayos na ginagawa ang dapat sana ay tungkulin nila… tulad ng pag-release ng confirmatory test result ng PLHIV na kanya naman talaga (they don’t properly do their duties… including releasing the confirmatory test result of a PLHIV, recognizing it’s his/hers/theirs anyway).

p.s.
To PLHIVs, ask – demand, even – for a copy of your confirmatory test result for future reference (or need). Don’t let your treatment hub hold it hostage.

The founder of Outrage Magazine, Michael David dela Cruz Tan completed BA Communication Studies from University of Newcastle in NSW, Australia; and Master of Development Communication from the University of the Philippines-Open University. Conversant in Filipino Sign Language, Mick can: photograph, do artworks with mixed media, write (DUH!), shoot flicks, community organize, facilitate, lecture, and research (with pioneering studies under his belt). He authored "Being LGBT in Asia: Philippines Country Report", and "Red Lives" that creatively retells stories from the local HIV community. Among others, Mick received the Catholic Mass Media Awards in 2006 for Best Investigative Journalism, and Art that Matters - Literature from Amnesty Int'l Philippines in 2020. Cross his path is the dare (guarantee: It won't be boring).

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