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On World AIDS Day, US donates HIV viral load testing cartridges

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On World AIDS Day, US donates HIV viral load testing cartridges
Ambassador MaryKay Carlson hands over HIV viral load testing cartridges to Manila City Councilor for Health Dr. Louisito Chua onstage.
US Embassy in the Philippines, Release

MANILA, Philippines — The United States government on Thursday donated viral load testing cartridges amounting to P85 million to strengthen the HIV treatment program of the Philippines.

On the World AIDS Day, US Ambassador MaryKay Carlson led the handover of 86,000 viral load testing cartridges that will be distributed to HIV treatment hubs and facilities across the archipelago.

The laboratory tests are expected to cover the country’s viral load testing requirements for all patients undergoing HIV treatment for one year.

“This donation of more than 86,000 viral load cartridges from the United States government will be pivotal to the country’s HIV treatment program,” Department of Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

Since December 2020, the US government has provided more than P1 billion to the Philippines through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief to support HIV prevention, case finding, and treatment interventions.

This includes a donation of over 81,000 bottles of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), an HIV-preventive drug that is being distributed by the DOH in more than 50 facilities across Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon.

The donation, valued at P31.3 million, was turned over to the Philippine government in June last year.

The US Embassy said the recent donations signify the commitment of the US government to support the Philippines in addressing supply chain bottlenecks in the procurement of critical commodities in HIV detection and treatment, and in achieving the nation’s goal to end AIDS by 2030 through evidence-based strategies. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

AIDS PREVENTION

HIV

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