MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines received the United States’ (US) donation of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) load testing cartridges worth P85 million on Thursday.
US Ambassador MaryKay Carlson led the turnover of 86,000 HIV load testing cartridges in Manila City.
“These laboratory tests are further proof that the US government is committed to working alongside the Department of Health (DOH), the community of Filipinos living with HIV, and local governments like Manila City to ensure that people living with HIV in the country have equitable access to a viral load test,” she said in a statement.
“With this donation, we aim to amplify the hopeful message of U equals U: that undetectable is indeed untransmittable,” she added.
The cartridges, which will be distributed to HIV treatment hubs and facilities across the archipelago, are expected to cover the viral load testing requirements for all patients undergoing HIV treatment for a year in the country.
For her part, DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the donation “will be pivotal to the country’s HIV treatment program.”
The US government has given over P1 billion to the Philippines to support HIV prevention, case finding, and treatment interventions since 2020.