HIV Cases in Singapore Grows by 1% in 2012
The number of cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in Singapore in 2012 slightly increased by one percent to 469, nearly 90 percent of which were among people aged 20 to 59, the Ministry of Health (MOH) reported. Of the total number of people infected, 93 percent were males while only 7 percent were females.
The main mode of transmission, MOH said, is still sexual transmission as 457 of the total number of cases were acquired through sexual route, with heterosexual transmission accounting for almost half, homosexual transmission at 45 percent, and bisexual transmission at 6 percent. MOH estimated that around 64 percent of the new reported cases were single, 25 percent were married, and 9 percent were either divorced or separated.
Difference Between Men and Women
Sixty-eight percent of the infected males were single while only 22 percent of the infected females were single. The agency also revealed that nearly half of the new cases recorded in 2012 already had late-stage HIV infection when they were diagnosed. Around 45 percent of the new cases were detected during medical care while 34 percent were diagnosed due to routine programmatic HIV screening and 14 percent detected through voluntary HIV screening.
When compared, MOH said that a higher percentage of homosexuals and bisexuals had their HIV detected through voluntary screening than heterosexuals. In terms of ethnic group, data from the MOH showed that 356 of the total number of people infected with HIV in 2012 were Chinese. At least 80 were Malay, 22 were Indian, and 11 were not classified.
With its latest data, MOH reported that the number of HIV or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) cases in Singapore in the month of September for the year 2013 totaled to 40, 18.367 percent lower than the cases recorded in the previous month. At least 33 cases of HIV/AIDS were recorded for January 2013, 27 cases for the month of February, 38 for the month of March, 40 cases for May, and 41 for June.
This alarmed MOH and Singapore’s Health Promotion Board (HPB) making them to urge Singaporeans to protect themselves by following the “ABCD” principle. ABCD stands for Abstinence, Being Faithful, Correct and consistent use of condoms, and early Detection. Although prevention is always the best option, MOH said that people who are at risk and those who engage in sexual behaviors are encouraged to have a regular HIV testing since it helps the infected person to be diagnosed earlier, thus, giving him or her an earlier access to health care and treatment.
MOH added that infected people are also given counseling on how to protect their partners from the virus. For its part, HPB said that it conducts various educational outreach programs, seminars, and talk shows on HIV prevention and people’s health. These programs, HPB said, encourage people to take personal protective measures and go through a regular HIV testing for an early diagnosis and treatment.