For the last 5 years of handling the HIV AIDS Program, it is fairly challenging to establish from scratch to hatch a Primary Care Facility without an exclusive safe space for PLHIV clients where we can secure patients’ privacy. There were plenty of gaps to be addressed such as the insufficient budget that is intended only for drugs/medicine of STI and program activities; inadequate manpower that has a respective role and function as HIV AIDS Core Team. Technically, there are no other allotted resources for HIV Kits, laboratory supplies, and machines required mainly for the clinic. The caseload for the first year was manageable starting with 1 patient to 10 yet the number of cases enrolled in the clinic is significantly increasing for the succeeding years. Hence, as HACT Nurse and Program Coordinator, I have seen the deficiency of the clinic along with how we cannot fully provide maximum care, particularly to our clients.

The initial strategy was to propose during the Annual Operation Plan demand and increase of funds for the HIV Program. Although we are dependent on the support from DOH allocation of testing kits, prophylaxis/Anti Retro Viral Drugs, CD4, and VIRAL LOAD CARTRIDGES we foresee the importance and sustainability of these if we are continuously expanding the clinic together with intensifying the benefits of testing in the community in the absence OHAT Package of PhilHealth yet. In relative to this, the clinic included the Cd4 Counter Machine in the Local Investment Plan for Health and successfully procured last 2019; the idea of integrating the cd4 cartridges and viral load analyzer in AOP and LIPH with the purest intention that our PLHIV clients will not cost a single centavo. Furthermore, the clinic purchased HIV/Syphilis testing kits to reach the utmost target of the key population. Last but not least, the construction of a new HIV Clinic has recently turned over to the HACT just adjacent to the Social Hygiene room.  With all these effective strategies, we can accommodate more pregnant mothers purposely for the Triple Elimination Initiative of Mother-to-Child Transmission (HIV, Syphilis, and Hepatitis B), regular Provider-Initiated Counseling and Testing for TB patients as part of the TB- HIV Collaboration, bi-annual blood tests (cd4 count test and viral load determination) and cater referrals from other Rural Health Units, private/government hospitals and treatment hubs.

Our passion and dedication for work as HIV AIDS Core Team headed by HACT Chair Dr. Princess Leah Flores comes from one desire and that is to be more compassionate towards PLHIV whom they believe that death may come anytime, life is not anymore useful, dignity and self-respect is lost after knowing their status. For them, they consider us as God’s instrument for healing while it is our joy and pride that because of them they give us a sense of purpose in life to help.

Jimenine Anne Parrilla, RN
HACT Nurse
HIV AIDS Program Coordinator