Singapore Increases Number of Clinics Offering Anonymous HIV Testing Following Rise in Tests
Singapore's Ministry of Health on Thursday reported that the number of anonymous HIV tests performed throughout the country increased by 46% to 8,251 last year, compared with 5,639 in 2005, Channel NewsAsia reports. In addition, 131 out of 423, or 30%, of HIV cases reported last year were detected through anonymous testing.
In an attempt to encourage more at-risk individuals to undergo HIV testing, the health ministry is adding four private clinics to its current list of anonymous HIV testing clinics; only three clinics currently offer anonymous testing. The new clinics will begin offering the test on Nov. 1.
The health ministry also announced that 154 HIV cases -- 143 among men and 11 among women -- were reported in the first six months of 2008, down from 165 cases during the same period last year. Studies have shown that early testing helps curb the spread of HIV/AIDS as HIV-positive individuals take steps to protect their partners from the virus (Channel NewsAsia, 10/30).