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01 Dec 2019

1st Dec 2019


     A total of 275 newly diagnosed cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections were reported among Singapore residents[1] in the first 10 months (January – October) of 2019.

2.     Of these, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has analysed 154 cases reported in the first 6 months (January to June) of 2019. Of these cases:

i. 95% were male;
ii. About 41% were aged 20-39 years age group and 40% were aged 40-59 years; and
iii. About 49% had late-stage HIV infection[2] at diagnosis. This is lower than the proportion of 53% for the same period last year.

3.     Sexual intercourse accounted for all of the known exposures. Homosexual transmission was the mode of transmission for 53% of all cases, while 38% were from heterosexual transmission and 7% were from bisexual transmission.

4.     About 55% of the newly reported cases were detected by HIV tests done in the course of medical care. Another 20% were detected during routine programmatic HIV screening[3] while 19% were detected through self-initiated HIV screening i.e. voluntary screening. The rest were detected through other types of screening[4]. A higher proportion of homosexuals/bisexuals (30%) had their HIV infection detected via voluntary screening compared to heterosexuals (4%).

5.     Annex A  provides detailed data on 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 testing which can help diagnose an infected person at an early stage of the infection. HIV testing is available at polyclinics, private clinics and hospitals. There are also anonymous HIV test sites where personal details are not required when signing up for a HIV test. Early diagnosis allows for early treatment and care, and provides the opportunity for those infected to learn about protecting their partners from the infection.With early and effective treatment, persons living with HIV can delay the onset of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) for many years, continue to lead an active and productive life, and also help reduce the spread of HIV in the community.

8.     HIV prevention and education form the core strategy of the national HIV/AIDS control programme in Singapore, and are targeted at both the general and high-risk populations. HPB has been working with partner organisations to conduct programmes and campaigns to encourage high-risk individuals to take protective measures as well as go for early and regular HIV testing. We are also working with stakeholders to raise awareness and reduce stigma against HIV/AIDS.

9.     Overcoming HIV/AIDS requires both individual and community effort.We can all do our part to create supportive environments to encourage individuals at risk to come forward to be tested early for HIV, and for those diagnosed to receive treatment.

10.    For more information on HIV prevention, please refer to www.healthhub.sg .

 



[1] Singapore citizens and permanent residents.

[2] 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] General health screening, medical checks for employment, insurance, etc.




Category: Press Releases