Davao City gov't offers free HIV testing, treatment

By Che Palicte

December 6 2022, 12:59 pm

DAVAO CITY - The city government's Reproductive Health and Wellness Center (RHWC) is continuously offering free testing and treatment for persons who are susceptible or infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

In a radio interview Tuesday, Dr. Jordana Ramiterre, the RHWC head, said the center is the sole primary treatment facility in the Davao Region providing services for outpatients.

She encouraged those who suspect that they have HIV to go to the center and ask for a free test.

"The testing is free because the kits are from the Department of Health (DOH) and our treatment is also free because RHWC is PhilHealth-accredited," Ramiterre said.

She said the center also receives regular support from DOH-11.

"It is all in place from prevention, treatment, and care services, the patients go back to our facility now and then, we also have laboratories because we have to test their response to the treatment," Ramiterre said.

She said hospitals in the city, such as the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) which is Philhealth accredited, also have an allocation for antiretroviral drugs used for HIV treatment.

"The Davao Doctors Hospital also has treatment drugs but not for free," she said, urging Dabawenyos to visit RHWC for testing and treatment purposes.

"They should be tested early so that they can start taking the drugs before the symptoms appear," she said.

She said their facility manages patients through outpatient arrangements, primarily those who do not show symptoms yet. (PNA)