By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Negros Occidental ranked third in the most number of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cases in Western Visayas, data presented during the Provincial Health Office (PHO) stakeholders’ meeting showed.
Data from the HIV Registry of the Philippines showed there were 117,946 confirmed HIV infections in the country since January 1984.
At least 1,518 newly-diagnosed cases were recorded in June 2023.
Negros Occidental recorded 14 HIV cases this year.
Western Visayas also ranked fifth with the highest number of reported cases, with 107, as of June 2023, in the Philippines.
Data during the meeting showed that 94 percent of those infected are males and six percent are females.
Department of Health in Western Visayas’ Adrian Hort Ramos discussed the importance of Republic Act 11166, which strengthens comprehensive policies for the prevention and treatment of HIV and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
Ramos said the new HIV laws aim to provide better access, education, care, and partnerships to address the disease.
Edjohn Javellana, a PHO medical staff, shared that HIV is the fastest growing epidemic in the Asia-Pacific region, as the virus has already invaded “the group of educated and working or employed individuals.”
The AMLIG Health Clinic, located inside the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in Bacolod City, is the only HIV treatment facility in Negros Occidental./DGB, WDJ