Latest figures from the Ministry of Health (MOH) showed a jump of 20 per cent in people coming for anonymous HIV testing in Singapore, compared to last year.
In the first nine months of this year, 129,966 people got tested, compared to 124,559 the year before. The availability of more clinics offering anonymous testing since last November has also shown to be an incentive for many.
Between January and October, 8,373 opted for anonymous testing, compared to 6,983 the same period in 2008. That’s an increase of 20 per cent.
As of October, there have been 378 new cases of HIV, and the MOH said the overall figure for 2009 is likely to be similar for the whole of 2008.
But one figure has attracted some concern. Between January and June this year, 27 women tested positive, compared to 30 in the whole of 2008.
Out of the 218 new cases reported in the same six-month period, nearly two-thirds or 129 cases got infected through heterosexual activity.
Sex between men accounted for another 33 per cent of new cases.
The figures also throw up sharp discrepancies between men and women.
Out of the 4,159 reported HIV cases as of June, 9 in 10 are males. Most are single men who contracted the virus through casual sex, and sex with prostitutes.
Among women however, most were infected while they were married.
The ministry said these figures reflect a trend similar to previous years.