SPMC caters to pregnant women with HIV in specialized clinics for privacy
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SPMC caters to pregnant women with HIV in specialized clinics for privacy

AN OFFICIAL from the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) revealed that all the data of pregnant women with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) are considered “strictly confidential” to protect their privacy.

Dr. Gladies Rioferio, chair and committee on maternal-perinatal welfare of the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS), said during the AFP PNP Press Conference on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, at the Royal Mandaya Hotel on Palma Gil Street, Davao City, that they cater to pregnant women with HIV in a specialized clinic for more privacy.

She added that this also aims to prevent their patients from feeling embarrassed and that in their charts there are specific codes that indicate their health.

“Meron silang special clinic, up until the delivery they are scheduled, anonymous talaga lahat pati sa chart to protect their privacy. General public, kasama sa hospital to protect their privacy (They have a special clinic, up until their scheduled delivery, all their data, even their charts, are anonymous to protect their privacy. Even in the general public hospital setting, measures are taken to protect their anonymity),” she said. 

Meanwhile, Dr. Maria Camella Delos Reyes, a fellow from POGS, encourages the couple, especially the husband, to have a test first before sexual intercourse. Also, she encourages prenatal testing, saying that it’s not only urinary and blood testing but also HIV testing.

Reyes expressed, “In pregnant women, regardless of whether it is in private or public safety, it's part of our guidelines to screen pregnant women for HIV. We are giving the counseling before having the test, and they should consent to having the test. Once they reveal positive results, we keep them anonymous."

Concerning the actions that they are taking, they heightened their information dissemination and education on how to decrease the number of pregnant women with HIV.

“It's not alarming as before, kasi mas marami na kami na i-screen, mas aware na sila (it’s not alarming as before, because we have already screened a lot and they are more aware now),” Rioferio said.

According to their experience, most pregnant women who had HIV got the virus from their husbands or partners.

Based on previous reports, as of December 2023, the number of pregnant women with HIV at SPMC has risen to 16, up from 12 in 2022. Erica Villacastin, DNSC Intern

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