Philihealth says coverage for HIV treatment available amid rising cases

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) said that it covers outpatient human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/ acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) treatments in designated HIV treatment facilities.

PhilHealth made the statement amid rising cases of HIV infections in the country.

According to data from DOH, in its latest HIV/AIDS registry, it reported that 79 Filipinos aged 10 to 19 years and seven children below age 10 were diagnosed with HIV in January 2023 alone.

Meanwhile, based on the health department’s December 2022 HIV/AIDS registry, there were a total of 14,970 new HIV cases detected from January to December 2022. The 2022 figure, the DOH said, is 2,631 cases more than the 12,339 cases recorded in 2021, equivalent to a 21 percent increase.

“Our Outpatient HIV/AIDS Package, which is part of our Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)-related benefits covers up to P30,000 per year or P7,500 per quarter. Kasama po rito ang bayad para sa mga gamot, laboratory examinations, at professional fees ng providers para sa mga HIV/AIDS-related cases na kumpirmado ng Rapid HIV Diagnostic Algorithm (rHIVda) facilities, STD/AIDS Central Cooperative Laboratory (SACCL),o ng Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM),” PhilHealth acting president and chief executive officer Emmanuel R. Ledesma, Jr. said.

"As of the end of 2022, PhilHealth has paid 15,191 claims from HIV treatment facilities, equivalent to 0.11 percent of the total claims count for the year, amounting to P108,463,468,” Ledesma said.

According to Ledesma, as of February of this year, there are 103 government and 44 private HIV treatment facilities accredited by PhilHealth for outpatient HIV/AIDS treatment.

The PhilHealth chief also reminded the public that while outpatient HIV/AIDS treatments were covered by PhilHealth, “prevention is still the best medicine as there is still currently no cure for the disease,” he said.

“Prevention is crucial to help slow the spread of the virus and reduce the risk of transmission thereby protecting individuals from infection and ultimately saving lives,” he added.