Ample supply of HIV/Aids antiretroviral drugs
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Ample supply of HIV/Aids antiretroviral drugs

Health authorities assure people with HIV and Aids in Davao Region that they have adequate antiretroviral drugs

THERE are enough stocks of free antiretroviral drugs for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Aids) patients in the Davao Region.

This is according to health authorities, who assured people with HIV and Aids that they have adequate antiretroviral drugs for their needs despite the high number of cases in the region.

“Our drugs are very much enough; wala man tay problema kay abtik man ang atong HIV treatment facilities (we have no problem as our HIV treatment facilities are dynamic). There is monthly inventory as long as regular ang inventory regular ang communication sa central office,” said Maria Theresa Requillo, HIV and Aids Regional Program Coordinator of the Department of Health-Davao Regional Office.

“Ang atong tambal, mga antiretroviral drugs libre siya coming from the Department of Health and available lang siya sa HIV treatment facilities (the antiretroviral drugs are free and coming from the Department of Health and only available at the HIV treatment facilities),” she added.

These facilities are located in the Southern Philippines Medical Center, Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City, City Health Office (CHO) of Davao City through the Reproduction Health and Wellness Center, and Davao Doctors Hospital also in Davao City.

Requillo, during the Kapehan sa Dabaw held at SM City-Davao on December 11, said they are planning to have one HIV treatment facility in each province in the region so the drugs can be more accessible to people with HIV and Aids.

The antiretroviral drugs are taken orally and once daily. There are many kinds of antiretroviral drugs, which are determined by the patient's baseline. 

“That is why newly diagnosed patients ginapa-baseline namo sila (they undertake baseline laboratory tests),” said Arnie Villanueva, Unit Manager, HIV and Aids Core Team of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC).

Davao Region currently has 700 people diagnosed with HIV/Aids from January to August 2023, with 85 new cases in August 2023.  From 1993 to the present, there have been 6,736 HIV/Aids cases in the Davao Region.

Nemfa C. Adorable, member of the HIV and Aids Core Team-SPMC, said the Philippines registered the fastest growth of HIV-Aids reactive cases in Asia.

“Sa entire Asia, kita ang pinakataas ug pinakapaspas, we are about 411 percentage na nagtaas. Sa una 22 lang ang reactive karon mga 50 a day na (In the entire Asia, we are the highest and the fastest. We rose up 411 percentage. In the past, 22 would be reactive; now it's 50 a day),” Adorable said.

The rising number can also be attributed to increased testing and increasing awareness among people that they will have to be tested for HIV/Aids and that they can get their results faster.

“Paspas na ang atong testing, mao na isa ka rason (Our testing is now faster, and that is one of the reasons),” Adorable said. PIA DAVAO

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