Fewer people in S’pore diagnosed with HIV/Aids from Jan to Oct
The number of Singapore residents diagnosed with HIV/Aids between January and October is 14 per cent lower than the same period last year.
This continues a downward trend from the peak of 469 people diagnosed in 2012.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) said there were 171 newly diagnosed HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, cases in the first 10 months of 2022 in its annual update on Thursday, in conjunction with World Aids Day.
Said MOH: “Everyone should know their HIV status and get tested at least once.”
Of the 102 cases reported in the first six months of 2022, 93 per cent were male. Nearly half of the cases, or 44 per cent, were patients aged between 40 and 59, while 40 per cent were aged 20 to 39.
Fewer of these cases - 1 per cent lower - had late-stage HIV infection at diagnosis as compared to the same period last year.
Sexual intercourse remains the main mode of HIV transmission, accounting for 91 per cent of the 102 cases, said MOH.
Heterosexual transmission accounted for 39 per cent of cases while 52 per cent of the cases occurred in men who have sex with other men, including men who engage in bisexual sexual activities, it added.
Intravenous drug use accounted for transmission in another case while the cause for the remaining eight cases was uncertain.
More than half of the newly reported cases, or 55 per cent, were detected during the course of medical care and typically in the late stages of HIV infection, said MOH.
The ministry and the Health Promotion Board urged at-risk individuals to go for regular HIV testing every three to six months.
Said MOH: “Regular HIV testing and early diagnosis allow persons living with HIV to be treated early and achieve better treatment outcomes.
“A person living with HIV can protect their sexual partner from infection, if they are on regular treatment and have an undetectable viral load. “
In a Facebook post, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said advancements in medicines have made HIV, once a disease with an inevitable terminal outcome, to a manageable one, similar to chronic diseases.
“Today, people living with HIV can be diagnosed and treated earlier, enabling them to live healthy, productive lives.,” he said, noting that rapid HIV tests can produce results in 20 minutes.