SINGAPORE: There were 319 new cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections reported among Singapore residents in the first 10 months of the year, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Thursday (Dec 1).
Of these, the ministry analysed 206 cases reported in the first six months, and found that 94 per cent of the new cases were male, 49.5 per cent were aged between 20 and 39 years, and about 38 per cent already had late-stage HIV infection when they were diagnosed.
The new data was released in conjunction with World Aids Day on Thursday.
Sexual intercourse remains the main mode of HIV transmission, accounting for 94 per cent of the 206 cases, MOH said. Heterosexual transmission was the mode of transmission for 32 per cent of all cases while 56 per cent were from homosexual transmission and 5 per cent were from bisexual transmission, it added.
About 40 per cent of the newly reported cases were detected by HIV tests done in the course of medical care. Another 28 per cent were detected during routine programmatic HIV screening while 27 per cent were detected through voluntary HIV screening, the ministry said.
When differentiated by sexual transmission, a higher proportion of homosexuals/bisexuals, or 40 per cent, had their HIV infection detected via voluntary screening compared to 3 per cent of heterosexuals, it added.
MOH and the Health Promotion Board (HPB) urged individuals at risk of HIV infection to go for regular HIV testing. Regular HIV testing can help diagnose an infected person at an early stage of infection, they said.
"Early diagnosis allows for early treatment and care, 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) and continue to lead an active and productive life," MOH added.