A report issued by Fundación LLAVES showed the huge impact of fee services on patients with HIV. Due to the so-called “recovery fee”, which is charged to patients with HIV for medical tests and medications, has resulted in the abandonment of antiretroviral treatment, since many people with HIV do not have the resources to “voluntarily contribute” with this fee imposed by the national program of HIV in Honduras.
The so-called “recovery fee” is charged to patients of different health centers, whose payment, according to the national HIV program, should be voluntary. Before the charge, the Secretary of Health performs a socio-economic study of the user in charge of the social worker, who determines the amount of money that the patient can pay for their medical services, whether drugs or lab tests.
Fundación LLAVES, along with the Red Centroamericana de personas que viven con vih (REDCA+), showed that more than 25% of those who attend Health Centers have decided to stop their therapy and medical appointments for not having the resources to pay the so-called recovery fee.
Ana, a patient of the Hospital Mario Catarino Rivas of San Pedro Sula expressed the following:
“One day I was unable to receive the money from my son, so I went to the Health Center and told my teammates that I didn’t have the money to pay for the tests, and one of them told me that if I did not pay that day, I will be charged next appointment” said Ana.
As well as to Ana, this happens to many people who do not have the resources to pay for the “recovery fee”, which results in the abandonment of treatment.
FOROSIDA call on all organizations working in the response to HIV to continue educating, raising awareness, and advocating for human rights of people living with HIV.
Mirka Negroni, representative of UNAIDS in Honduras, said that in order to meet the goals of zero new infections and no deaths by HIV or AIDS, all parties involved should work together, since this goal is not easy to achieve.
Currently 31 thousand cases of HIV or AIDS haven diagnosed in Honduras, nearly 10,000 of which are in treatment or medical control. A quarter of these people has abandoned their treatment because of the famous “recovery fee”.