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     FrontPage Edition: Tue 28 September 2004

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New cases of HIV infection reported in first half 2004

In the first 6 months of 2004, another 138 Singaporeans were detected to be HIV infected.

About 91% of the new cases detected in the first 6 months of this year were males and 9% were females.

Sexual transmission remains the main mode of HIV transmission among Singaporeans.

Of the 138 cases reported in the first 6 months of this year, 132 cases acquired the infection through the sexual route with heterosexual transmission accounting for 65% of infections, homosexual transmission 23% and bisexual transmission 8%. The remaining 4% was due to intravenous drug use (3 cases) and perinatal transmission (3 cases).

Among those who acquired the infection through the sexual route, about 86% had sexual exposure to prostitutes (locally and overseas) and/or casual sex partners.

Those aged between 30 and 49 years of age accounted for about 57% of all new cases reported in the first 6 months of this year.

Those aged between 50 and 59 years accounted for 13% and 20 to 29 years accounted for about 17% of new cases in the first 6 months of this year.

Of the new cases, about 62% were single while about 25% were married, 7% were divorced and 6% were widowed.

Total number of HIV-infected Singapoeans

This brings the total number of HIV infected Singaporeans including 21 children to 2213 as of Jun 2004 (Table 1). Of these, 844 are asymptomatic carriers, 535 have full-blown AIDS and 834 have died.

Heterosexual transmission has been the most common mode of HIV transmission among Singaporeans since 1991 (Table 2).

Most of these cases contracted the infection through casual sex and sex with prostitutes in Singapore and overseas.

However, since 2001, an increasing trend of HIV infection has been observed among homosexual men in Singapore, from 12 cases reported in 2000 to 40 cases in 2003.

During the first half of this year, thirty-one of the 138 new cases reported acquired the infection through homosexual transmission.

The majority of the HIV infected Singaporeans are males with 1942 cases; 271 are females (Table 3) giving a sex ratio of seven males to one female.

Among the males, 60% were single at the point of diagnosis. For the females, however, the majority (62%) were married.

About 84% are Chinese, 8% Malays, 5% Indians and 3% Others (Table 4). About 20% of the HIV infected Singaporeans were working in the sales and service sector and another 18% were production craftsman and plant/machine assemblers (Table 6).

Tables.....

Source: Ministry of Health Statistics

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