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The Medical City Iloilo: I-REACT HIV Hub

March 10, 2017 – The Medical City Iloilo launches I-REACT HIV Hub, a treatment hub dedicated to early assessment, consultation, and treatment of HIV/AIDS. The I-REACT HIV Hub will provide professional clinical consultation, risk reduction counseling, early diagnosis, support system referral, immune system monitoring, and medical treatment of HIV/AIDS.

The looming epidemic of HIV AIDS in Western Visayas. Twenty-five new HIV cases are diagnosed every day in the country today; that’s 1 new case every 60 minutes. Western Visayas, specifically Iloilo City, was cited by international news as having recorded the highest number of new cases last year – 1 new case every 19 hours (CNN, November 19, 2015). It is said that the rate of rising numbers in the Philippines today is how it was in Thailand some 20 years ago. Since then, the incidence in Thailand has significantly decreased and stabilized mainly because of aggressive public education campaigns and a relentless drive for early detection and treatment. By removing the stigma of HIV and AIDS, the fight against the diseases significantly becomes much easier.

The current situation needs to be addressed. Prejudice, judgment, misinformation, negative attitudes, and any forms of abuse directed at people living with HIV and AIDS comprise the bulk of the factors why addressing the problem has not been easy. People living with HIV (PLHIVs) members, loss of childbearing options, limitations in access to healthcare, social withdrawal, and feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness. It does not have to be this way because HIV can be treated, and PLHIVs can – and must – continue to be productive members of society. Isolation through misinformation and stigma does not prevent the spread of the disease, it only hides it – with dire epidemiologic consequences.

ABCs of HIV/AIDS prevention: A for abstinence, B for be faithful, C for condomize, D for don’t do drugs, and E for education and early detection. End the stigma, start the healing. 

The I-REACT Hub of The Medical City. The Medical City has been an active player in the country’s collaboration with the WHO to curtail the growth and spread of the HIV epidemic. It has the busiest HIV Hub in a private hospital in the country in terms of the volume of patients enrolled in its program. It attends to approximately 700 patients on active anti-retroviral therapy. The hub is named I-REACT (‘I am responsible for the early assessment, consultation, and treatment’). Its main thrust is consistent with the institution’s vision of leadership in health through education and partnership with patients, with an emphasis on personal accountability for one’s health.

Starting this month, The Medical City Iloilo aims to duplicate the success of the I-REACT HIV Hub of its parent institution through the pursuit of its Patient Partnership philosophy – patients are partners, not wards, to be consulted and respected, not imposed or administered upon. The patient is central to the success of the program and assumes responsibility and accountability over his own health, in close partnership with the hub’s well-trained and close-knit team composed of a doctor, nurse, medical technologist, pharmacist, and social worker. The hub provides professional clinical consultation, risk reduction counseling, early diagnosis, support system referral, immune system monitoring, and medical treatment. The program ensures 100% confidentiality under the lock and key principle unless warranted by law or with the consent of the patient’s partner.

The I-REACT team will be conducting periodic public awareness campaigns geared towards HIV/AIDS prevention in collaboration with the Department of Health Region VI. The hub’s support system includes teams from the LGBT community, PLHIV, and an openly religious organization. Iloilo City and its neighboring provinces now have alternative access to premium HIV/AIDS healthcare where stigma and discrimination do not thrive.

With the end to stigma, healing begins. For more information, visit the I-React Clinic at The Medical City Iloilo, Locsin St., Brgy. Tap-oc, Molo, Iloilo City | Tel Nos. (033) 338-1508 to 1513 loc. 216 | Email: tmci_ireact@themedicalcity.com | www.themedicalcityiloilo.com

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