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27 Mar 2019

1st Dec 2018

 A total of 265 newly diagnosed cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections were reported among Singapore residents1 in the first 10 months (January – October) of 2018.

 

2.            Of these, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has analysed 156 cases reported in the first 6 months (January – June) of 2018. Of these cases:

 

i.       90% were male;

ii.      About 40% were aged 20 to 39 and 46% were aged 40 to 59 years; and

iii.     About 53% had late-stage HIV infection2 when they were diagnosed. This is higher than the proportion of 42% for the same period last year.

 

3.            Sexual intercourse accounted for all of the known exposures. Heterosexual transmission was the mode of transmission for 45% of all cases while 43% were from homosexual transmission and 12% were from bisexual transmission.

 

4.            About 57% of the newly reported cases were detected by HIV tests done in the course of medical care. Another 22% were detected during routine programmatic HIV screening3 while 17% were detected through self-initiated HIV screening i.e. voluntary screening . The rest were detected through other types of screening4. A higher proportion of homosexuals/bisexuals (25%) had their HIV infection detected via voluntary screening compared to heterosexuals (9%).

5.           Annex A [xlsx, 25kb] provides detailed data for the cases reported. Information on newly reported HIV cases is regularly updated on the MOH website.

 

Public Advisory

 

6.            The most effective way to prevent HIV infection is to remain faithful to one’s spouse/ partner and to avoid casual sex, and sex with sex workers. 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 and other sexually-transmitted infections. Condoms should be used consistently and correctly during every sexual encounter.

 

7.            MOH and the Health Promotion Board (HPB) urge individuals at risk of HIV infection to go for regular HIV testing5. Regular HIV testing can help diagnose an infected person at an early stage of infection. Early diagnosis allows for early treatment and care, and provides the opportunity for those infected to learn about protecting their partners from infection.  With early and effective treatment, persons living with HIV can delay the onset of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) for many years and continue to lead an active and productive life.

 

8.            HPB has been working with partner organisations to conduct programmes and campaigns targeted at high-risk individuals, to encourage them to take proactive measures such as going for early and regular HIV testing. Adopting a lifestyle-based approach, these programmes engage high-risk individuals via social settings to increase the targeted reach. For more information on HIV prevention, please refer to www.preventhiv.sg

 

 

MINISTRY OF HEALTH & HEALTH PROMOTION BOARD

1 DECEMBER 2018



Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents.

CD4+ cell count of less than 200 per mm3 or AIDS-defining opportunistic infections or both.

3 Includes screening programmes for individuals with sexually transmitted infections, hospital inpatients and those identified through contact tracing

4 For instance, general health screening, medical checks for employment, insurance, etc.

5 HIV testing is available at polyclinics, private clinics and hospitals. In addition, HIV testing can be done at ten anonymous HIV test sites located across Singapore, where personal details are not required when signing up for a HIV test.