HIV cases in NegOcc alarming – PHO

Dr. Ernell Tumimbang

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental Provincial Health Officer Dr. Ernell Tumimbang said the increase in HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) cases in the province is alarming.

Tumimbang revealed his concern during the Year-end Media Press Conference on Emerging and Re-emerging Diseases held at the Negrense Residences here on Dec 1, 2022.

Iloilo province still has the most number of HIV cases with 1,420, followed by Iloilo City (1,211), Negros Occidental (1,176), Bacolod City (924), Capiz (559), Aklan (445), Antique (352), and Guimaras (120).

But Tumimbang said cases in Negros Occidental are increasing. What makes the situation more alarming is that persons who tested positive for HIV would just disappear instead of getting treatment.

The youngest HIV-positive case in the province is 15 years old.

Some of the persons living with HIV are undergoing medication in government hospitals.

He said that the provincial government has exerted more efforts in testing suspected HIV cases and is encouraging them to get treated as well.

“It is curable and it is not the end of the world for those who have HIV,” he pointed out.

Tumimbang also explained that persons living with HIV cannot be isolated and “we are encouraging them to undergo treatment so that they can eventually come out and mingle with others.”

“We cannot isolate them because that is a violation of their rights,” he added.