Singapore

Singapore on downward HIV/Aids trend with 408 new cases last year

The number of cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (Aids) in Singapore is falling.

Last year, 408 people were diagnosed with HIV infection and Aids, down from 455 the previous year.

Even more heartening news from the Ministry of Health's (MOH) latest HIV/Aids report is the five-year drop in incidence per million population: From 122.8 in 2012 to 103.7 last year.

Professor Roy Chan, president of Action for Aids, said: "This is good news. It is the result of hard work and perseverance in delivering prevention information and tools to persons who are most at risk."

Dr Chia Shi-Lu, head of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Health, said: "It probably reflects a real trend as our active surveillance is quite comprehensive, so we are probably picking up most of the cases, and we also have opportunistic screening."

Professor Leo Yee Sin, director, Institute of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, said that with universal accessibility to treatment, "the downward trend last year is encouraging and reflects years of prevention efforts".

But she added that with two in five getting diagnosed late, it "means that there is still much effort needed".

The latest MOH report said that 93 per cent of patients were men.

Almost two in three new patients were aged 20 to 49, and two in five had late-stage HIV infection.

 

More than half were from homosexual transmissions and 36 per cent from heterosexual sex.

There is neither cure nor vaccine for this disease. However, there is treatment that can slow the progression of the disease.

FOR MORE, READ 
THE STRAITS TIMES TODAY

MINISTRY OF HEALTH (MOH)HomosexualSex