UPDATE ON THE HIV/AIDS SITUATION IN SINGAPORE 2014 

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Characteristics of new cases of HIV infection reported in 2014

1.         In 2014, 456 new cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections were reported among Singapore residents1. This brings the total number of HIV infected Singapore residents to 6,685 as of end 2014, of whom 1,737 have died (Table 1).

2.         Sexual transmission remains the main mode of HIV transmission among Singapore residents.  Of the 456 cases reported in 2014, 440 cases (96%) acquired the infection through the sexual route. There was only one case who acquired HIV through intravenous drug use while the route of infection could not be determined for 15 cases (Table 2).

3.         Almost half of the new cases reported in 2014 were between 30 and 49 years of age.

4.         The majority of new cases were males (93%). Of the males, 68% were single (Table 3).

5.         In 2014, 49% of the new cases already had late-stage HIV infection2 when they were diagnosed, compared to 41% in 2013 and 48% in 2012.

6.         About 57% of the new cases in 2014 had their HIV infection detected when testing was performed in the course of medical care provision3. Another 25% were detected during routine programmatic HIV screening4 while another 14% were detected during voluntary HIV screening. The rest were detected through other types of screenings. When differentiated by sexual transmission, a higher proportion of homosexuals/bisexuals (23%) had their HIV infection detected via voluntary screening compared to heterosexuals (5%). Annex A provides detailed data on the cases reported in 2014.

Public advisory

7.         The most effective way to prevent HIV infection is to remain faithful to one’s spouse/partner and to avoid casual sex, or sex with sex workers. 

8.         Persons engaging in high-risk sexual behaviour, such as having multiple sexual partners or engaging in casual or commercial sex, are strongly advised to use condoms to reduce their risk of HIV infection. Condoms should be used consistently and correctly during every sexual encounter.

9.         We urge individuals who engage in high-risk sexual behaviour to go for early and regular HIV testing. Early and regular testing will help an HIV-infected person know about their infection earlier. With early diagnosis, an infected person can access care and treatment earlier, and also receive counseling on how to protect their partners from infection.  Early treatment and care also delays the onset of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), allowing the infected individual to live a productive life.

10.       The Health Promotion Board (HPB) has been working with partner organisations to conduct programmes and campaigns targeted at high-risk individuals to urge them to go for regular HIV testing. HPB’s partners conduct various educational outreach programmes on HIV prevention and management using a lifestyle approach. These programmes reach out to at-risk individuals through social settings to encourage them to take protective measures and to go for early and regular HIV testing.

11.       More information about HIV and AIDS can be found at the HPB website at http://www.hpb.gov.sg.

 

MINISTRY OF HEALTH

2 JUNE 2015

 

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