Singapore Sees Spurt in HIV Cases Last Year

by VR Sreeraman on  April 30, 2008 at 7:39 PM AIDS/HIV News   - G J E 4
The number of HIV cases in Singapore hit a record last year, figures monitored on Wednesday said.

Statistics from the health ministry showed 422 people newly infected with the AIDS virus in 2007, the highest number in a single year since records began in 1985.
Singapore Sees Spurt in HIV Cases Last Year
Singapore Sees Spurt in HIV Cases Last Year

About 93 percent of those infected were males, and most of the infections were transmitted through sex, the ministry said in a statement on its website.

Nearly two-thirds of the infections occurred through heterosexual sex, while there were seven cases from intravenous drug use and one through a blood transfusion overseas, it said.

Most infections were detected during testing for some form of medical treatment, with only 13 percent discovered during voluntary screening, it said.

The number of persons infected with HIV between 1985 and 2007 totalled 3,482, the ministry said, adding that 1,144 have died.

Only two people, both males, were reported infected with the AIDS virus in 1985.

In Singapore, it is an offence for people who know they are infected with the virus not to inform their partners of their status before engaging in sexual intercourse.

The government wants to take the Infectious Diseases Act further.

Under an amendment which has yet to come into force, a person who has reason to believe he has contracted the virus "must take reasonable precaution to protect his sexual partner" -- for instance, by using a condom -- even if he has yet to undergo a test, the ministry said

If he does not have an AIDS test to confirm he is HIV-negative, "he must inform his partner of the risk of contracting HIV from him, leaving the partner to voluntarily accept the risk, if he or she so wishes," it said.

HIV causes AIDS, which breaks down the body's immune system, leaving an infected individual vulnerable to a range of diseases. AIDS has no known cure.

Source: AFP

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