‘Gold standard’ HIV test center to rise in Manila


The Department of Health (DOH) has recently approved a license to operate for a rapid human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) diagnostic algorithm (rHIVda) confirmatory testing laboratory in Manila.

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, in a Facebook post, said the new laboratory, located inside the Sta. Ana Hospital, is the “gold standard” of testing for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).

Domagoso said the city government will continue to upgrade its medical facilities to be able to serve the public’s needs.

The mayor said the milestone was in time for the 11th anniversary of the government-run hospital on April 28.

Meanwhile, Domagoso urged the public needing a free RT-PCR swab test for the coronavirus to first call the hotline of the Manila Emergency Operation Center (MEOC), under the Manila Health Department (MHD), so they can be accommodated under this service of the city government.

Domagoso said this service is free to all, even to non-residents of Manila.

He said the MHD, headed by Acting City Health Officer Dr. Arnold Pangan, has come up with updated RT-PCR swab testing hotlines to accommodate more people needing free swab tests.

The mayor stressed that the drive-thru swab testing at the Quirino Grandstand is strictly by appointment only.

Citing a report from MEOC head Dr. Ed Santos, Domagoso said the drive-thru swab center schedules 100 individuals per day, on a first-come, first-served basis only and based on the scheduled appointments.

According to Santos, those interested to undergo free swab testing may contact the following hotlines: 09555875981; 09983226367; 09555875976; 09052423327; 09636023177 and 09615869957.

Swab testing has been free from the day the center was set up and it continues to be given by the MEOC under the stewardship of the MHD, even for non-residents of Manila.

Santos explained that there is a need to call first to give way to an interview and encoding in the system before giving the schedule for the swab test.

Domagoso said the swab tests may be availed not only by those who were exposed to a COVID-positive individual but also for purposes of job requirement or mere peace of mind.

Once the result comes out, the system at the Sta. Ana Hospital under Dr. Grace Padilla will call or send it via email and if the one who got tested has no email, the MEOC will give him a call, the mayor said.

The mayor said a total of 198,698 individuals have so far availed of the free swab testing being continuously given by the city government, not only via drive-thru but also through the six city-run hospitals.

Domagoso reported in his live broadcast that the occupancy rate in the city’s six hospitals is at 59 percent, while at quarantine facilities, the occupancy rate is 37 percent.

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