HIV is rising in the Philippines specially in Urban areas like Metro Manila. The lack of information on how to get tested is a major contributing factor why HIV is spreading like wild fire. Below are the top 5 best ways to get tested for HIV/AIDS if you are living in the Philippines with #1 being the best and the most recommended.
5. Public Hospitals
This is the first on our list and perhaps the most common method of HIV testing performed in our country. Please do take note however that not all hospitals have the facility to test for HIV so ensure that the hospital that you are going to includes HIV testing as one of their diagnostic services. Click here to see the full lists of HIV testing sites in the Philippines. These are all public HIV testing centers so please do take note that in case you will test positive, they will have to record you as well as monitor you and ask you about your previous sexual contacts and complete medical history.
CONS: Privacy issues. Health professionals are sometimes judgmental and probing on your sexual history. If you will test positive, you will be recorded and monitored. I remember one time wherein I got tested in San Lazaro and the nurse that is getting a blood sample says to me “Ikaw kasi eh, pag nag negative ka magpakalalaki ka na para hindi ka na nag papa test.”
4. Free HIV Testing Sites
A “little bit” better than #5. These HIV testing sites are satellite clinics of RITM or Research Institute for Tropical Medicine which is the main HIV research center in the Philippines. Testing is free and staffs are a little bit friendlier than the stressed out staffs in the hospitals but then again, Lines are usually long as they serve hundreds of clients a day and it might take 2 hours before getting tested. Privacy here is worse than in Hospitals not because of the staffs which are very friendly and nice, but because of people like you that is falling in line to be tested. Your are basically screwed if someone you know is there. A small space with 30-50 people at any given time, most of which are men having sex with men, expect some people are going to talk. For more details, contact them at:
LOVE YOURSELF MALATE HUB
#1850 Leon Guinto Street, Malate, Manila.
LOVE YOURSELF ANGLO HUB
Unit 5, 3/F, Anglo Building, #715-A Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City.
PROS: Free. Friendly and accommodating staffs. Free counseling services.
CONS: Not for the discreet type since there are many people here. I heard horror stories of a discreet guy seeing his brother getting tested before him(what a nightmare!). Minimum waiting time is 2 hours. Entire testing will take 2 to 3 hours. Please call them first before going there because they are not open everyday. You should also arrive early because they have cut off time.
3. St. Luke’s Medical Center HIV Clinic
If you have 1,200 pesos, then this is better than #5 and #4. You will simply visit their hospital either in Quezon City or Global City between 8 A.M up to 5 P.M only, just go to the information desk and ask for “Blood Testing” they will forward you to an outpatient clinic where you will have to fill up a form with your name, address, etc. etc. and what blood tests do you want to perform. Simply tick HIV/AIDS on the list. You will have to pay to the cashier and give the receipt and form at the outpatient clinic. A nurse will then draw blood from your veins and they will simply give you a small stub containing a pin number. You can check the results online via their website at http://www.stluke.com.ph by entring the pin number and the password you chosen when you filled up the form. Result is ready in 5 days.
PROS: More private than #5 and #4. Very few people, if there is any, getting tested. Results are checked online.
CONS: It will take 5 days for the results to be ready. Costs 1,200 pesos.
2. The Medical City I-REACT Clinic
Medical city is one of the few hospitals in the Philippines that has its own HIV Treatment facility. Basically same as #3 I just put it in #2 because they are more “specialized” than St. Lukes when it comes to HIV testing and treatment. Testing hours is from 8 A.M up to 5 P.M only, the testing hub is located at the Mezzanine floor of the ER complex. For more information contact them at:
+63 2 988 1000
+63 2 988 7000 ext. 6765 and 6323
Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City, Manila
PROS: More specialized than St. Lukes but basically almost the same. Results are sent via email.
CONS: It will take 5 days for the results to be ready. Costs 1,000 pesos.
1. HIVTESTKIT.PH 100% Specificity HIV Home Test Kits
In my opinion, the best way to get tested is just to test at home but please be careful of buying HIV home test kits online specially in OLX/Sulit/Ebay as most of them are bogus, inaccurate or just scams with no accuracy data or certification to back them up. Buy only from a reputable site. I highly recommend HIV test kit Philippines. They offer a Japan made test kit called Fujibio HIV Home Test Kits that is 100% specific in testing HIV and results is already seen in just 10 minutes. 100% specific means that if you tested negative, you are 100% negative. It is also 99.9% accurate similar with any other tests I mentioned above. Take note that no test is 100% accurate even the tests performed in the hospitals. The kit costs 875 pesos and the site contains all the details and instructions on how to use it and how to read the results. You can read their accuracy report by clicking here. They offer pretest and post test counseling. Their counselors are very nice, friendly and accommodating and all of them are either doctors or nurses so they really know what they are talking about. They also have a very wide knowledge when it comes to treatment options and referrals.
PROS: 100% Anonymous and private. Results in 10 minutes. Accuracy is similar to hospital tests. Can be performed at home. Free worldwide and nationwide delivery. They offer free counseling services that is not offered anywhere except in #4.
CONS: Shipping will take 1-3 days depending on your location in the Philippines.