The number of reported new cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections in Singapore has remained consistent at 450 since 2008, according to the MOH. HIV poses long-term and life-threatening health risks and rarely show any symptoms until its late stages, but the good news is that it is highly preventable through early detection with HIV screening.
Importance of HIV Screening
Getting tested for HIV is the only way for sure to know if you have acquired the infection. With early detection comes early treatment plans, proper care management and better outcomes. Many people who’ve tested positive in an HIV or any STD screening in Singapore go on to live long and healthy lives thanks to early detection and immediate access to right care and treatment.
Risk Factors for HIV
There have been many misconceptions surrounding the HIV virus and how it is passed from one person to another. Contrary to what many may believe, HIV is not transmitted via saliva, sweat, tears, skin-to-skin contact, urine or feces. Activities such as holding hands, hugging, closed-mouth kissing, and sharing food, drinks or toilets, do not put you at risk of getting HIV.
HIV can be transmitted via blood, semen, vaginal fluids, rectal fluids and breast milk. It is commonly passed from one person to another through unprotected sexual intercourse and needle sharing with an HIV-positive individual. Mother-to-child transmission is also possible through pregnancy and breastfeeding, though the risk is reduced with regular HIV screening and treatments.
Below is a table illustrating the HIV risk percentage depending on the exposure type or activity:
HIV Screening Options
Atlas Pacific Medical offers a range of rapid and laboratory tests to detect the presence of HIV antibodies, p24 antigens and other genetic materials from the patient’s blood (finger prick).
Different types of HIV tests have different window periods and turnaround time:
*The window period states the time from exposure that the test is conclusive.
*Please note that we currently do not offer the Oraquick test at present. Should this become available again we will mention here*
Test Results: What Happens Next?
If Your Test Results Are Negative
If your test result comes back as negative (and confirmed negative with further testing after the 3-month window), this indicates that you don’t have the virus. This doesn’t mean, however, that you are no longer at risk of acquiring it in the future. You can protect yourself and the people around you from HIV by:
Practicing safe sex by using a condom every time you have intercourse
Abstaining or refraining from casual sex or having multiple sex partners
Informing your partner if you are HIV-positive, or knowing whether your partner is HIV-positive
Regularly taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV
Not sharing needles in any way
If Your Test Results Are Positive
If your test result comes back as positive (and confirmed positive with a follow up test), this indicates that you have acquired the infection and require immediate treatment. Antiretroviral therapy, which involves taking medication similar to post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) medicine, is typically the first-line treatment to control HIV infection.
Atlas Pacific Medical provides all the above-mentioned tests. However, the clinic only runs the HIV PCR on Tuesdays at the lab so getting to us before that day would help speed up your test results. Our MOH-accredited clinic also offer screening and treatment options for a wide range of STDs. For more inquiries about our services, contact us.
CALL US ON +6563869098 (DURING OPENING HOURS)
SMS US ON 8419 1943 (AVAILABLE 24 HOURS)