A TOTAL of 50 patients with Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV-Aids) in Davao City will receive a lifetime supply of anti-retroviral (ART) drugs and treatment, a health officer said.

Maria Teresa Requillo, STI/HIV-Aids program manager of Department of Health (DOH)-Davao Region, said the 50 patients diagnosed with HIV-Aids in 2017 will be admitted to DOH's lifetime ART treatment.

"After they are diagnosed, patients can immediately go to different treatment hubs situated in Davao City," she said.

HIV attacks the body’s immune system. If left untreated, HIV can lead to the disease called Aids.

Requillo said there are three hubs that are located in Davao City, the Southern Philippines Medical Center, Davao Regional Medical Center, and the Reproductive Health and Wellness Center City Office.

She said the program has already catered to more than 500 patients since 2009.

"We have a patient residing in Davao that has been receiving treatment for 20 years now," she said.

More than 2,000 beneficiaries were listed by the national office of the DOH for 2017.

She said those who underwent ART but have stopped treatment for various reasons were immediately excluded from the list of beneficiaries.

Since January 1984 to January 2017, a total of 40,466 HIV cases have been reported in the country, with 2,002 deaths and 3,755 cases progressing into Aids.