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Get Tested

Get Tested

If you consistently practice high risk behaviours (multiple sex partners and/ or anal sex without condoms), then an HIV test should be done more often. With numerous anonymous test sites in Singapore, and the availability of instant test kits, it is now possible for you to get an HIV test without fear.

When should I go for a HIV test?

Here are some general guidelines for you to consider about getting tested.

0 sex partners in the last 12 months    

  • If you have never had sex or a blood transfusion, then you do not need an HIV test
  • If you have not been sexually active in the last 12 months, but have been sexually active in the past, then you should consider at least 1 'baseline' HIV test to determine your current HIV status.
  • If you already have a baseline HIV test, and have not been sexually active since then, you will not need any further HIV tests

1 sex partner in the last 12 months (Monogamous relationship)
Some couples who are in monogamous relationships stop using condoms after a period of time. But before you do so, please take the following recommendations:

  • Get an HIV test done together before you stop using condoms
  • Wait for three months, and get a second HIV test
  • If both of you are HIV negative, and you have a commitment not to have sex outside the relationship, you may then stop using condoms for sex with one another
  • Continue to have an HIV test together every 12 months regardless of your commitment to one another - promises get broken, and mistakes happen. We are human, and it's simply smarter to not put your life in the hands of 'trust' for your partner

1 to 3 sex partners in the last 12 months
Even if you practice safe sex and use condoms 100% of the time during every sexual encounter, the UNAIDS recommendations are that you should still take an HIV test at least every 12 months.

More than 3 partners in the last 12 months, or any unprotected anal intercourse
You are considered at higher risk for HIV than other gay men, and the recommendation is for an HIV test at least every 6 months.

  • If you find yourself constantly testing your luck by engaging in unprotected anal intercourse, and putting yourself at risk, do take a moment to reevaluate your behavior. A better regard for your personal sexual health puts you and others at less risk.
  • It is easy to have risk-free sex - just use a condom!

Never rely on a single HIV test to decide your fate.
There are many different HIV tests on the market. The one you will most commonly encounter in an anonymous test site is a 'rapid test' which uses either a drop of blood from a finger prick, or a swab of saliva. Other methods are more costly and take more time, but are more sensitive, and are often used to confirm an initial positive test result from a rapid test, for example ELISA and Western Blot.

The rapid HIV test kits are designed to detect anti-HIV antibodies or proteins produced by our body cells against HIV. A person who has been exposed to HIV will usually take a few weeks and sometimes up to 6 months for the body to respond to the virus, a process called sero-conversion.

The Window Period
During this period, the HIV test would be falsely negative. The paradox is that while the test would read as negative, this person who is sero-converting can still be extremely infectious towards others.

This is due to the very high levels of HIV in the blood and genital secretions at this stage before antibody production, which can lower the HIV viral load. It is believed that most new HIV infections were transmitted from people who are sero-converting or in the window period.

The Danger
It can be very dangerous to have raw or unprotected sex with a partner with a negative HIV test. A negative HIV test can only be deemed truly negative if the person has no possible exposure history to HIV in the previous 3 (or better, 6) months. Unfortunately, casual sex seekers often already have multiple sexual exposures prior to the sexual encounter with you and also, they can give misleading or false sexual history.

Hence, regardless of the HIV rapid test result, safer sex (with the use condoms) should always be used in casual, anonymous or random sex.

Where to get tested in Singapore (Source: http://www.hpb.gov.sg/HOPPortal/health-article/6368)

Anonymous HIV testing is offered at the following seven clinics:

Action for AIDS Anonymous HIV Testing & Counselling Clinic
DSC Clinic

31 Kelantan Lane, #01-16, Singapore 200031
Tel: 62540212
Tue & Wed: 6.30pm to 8.15pm
Sat: 1.30pm to 3.15pm
Public Holidays: Closed
Website: http://www.afa.org.sg/anonymous.asp

Anteh Dispensary
368 Geylang Road, Singapore 389381
Tel: 67441809
Mon to Fri: 9am to 12pm, 2pm to 5pm
Sat: 9am to 12pm
Sun/Public Holidays: Closed

Cambridge Clinic
Blk 333, Kreta Ayer Road, #03-27, Singapore 080333
Tel: 63271252
Mon to Fri: 9am to 1.30pm
Sat: 9am to 12pm
Sun/Public Holidays: Closed

Dr Jay Medical Centre
115 Killiney Road, Singapore 239553
Tel: 62355196
Mon to Fri: 9am to 12.30pm, 1.30pm to 4.30pm, 6.30pm to 8.30pm
Sat: 9am to 12.30pm, 6.30pm to 8.30pm
Sun/Public Holidays: 6.30pm to 8.30pm

Dr Soh Family Clinic
Blk 966, Jurong West Street 93, #01-221, Singapore 640966
Tel: 67917735
Mon to Fri: 8.30am to 1pm, 2pm to 5pm, 7pm to 9pm
Sat/Sun/Public Holidays: 8.30am to 1pm
(Closed on Thursday afternoons and Friday nights)

M Lam Clinic
739 Geylang Road, Singapore 389649
Tel: 67481949
Mon to Fri: 9.30am to 12.30pm, 2.30pm to 5.30pm
Sat: 9.30am to 12.30pm
Sun/Public Holidays: Closed

Dr Tan and Partners
11 Unity Street, #02-07 Robertson Walk, Singapore 237995
Tel: 62387810
Mon to Fri: 8am to 3pm, 6pm to 9pm
Sat: 9am to 2pm
Sun/Public Holidays: Closed

Reader's Comments

Comment #1 was deleted by its author on 2013-08-22 16:32
3 years ago
In support of your promotion of testing I would like to post the
following statements:
A: The encouragement of condom use alone hasn't stopped the spread of
HIV
B: The rates of transmission in most countries is directly and
demonstrably linked with the rates of testing and subsequent
anti-retroviral treatment given to patients as early as possible
C: Gay men are deaf to the idea that sero-sorting doesn't work I.e.
accepting verbal assurances from a partner that they are "clean". It's
meaningless and is a primary cause of transmission as up to 50% of
people with HIV do not know they have it even in developed countries
due to low rates of testing.
D: Condom promotion campaigns suffice in countries that ignore
research that shows increased testing and anti-retroviral treatment as
prevention is highly effective and is the policy norm elsewhere
including many developing countries
E: A person with HIV who is on stable anti-retroviral treatment with
an undetectable viral load virtually cannot transmit the virus
sexually. This is backed up by a second in-depth clinical study this
time focused on gay couples
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/07/unprotected-sex-hiv-risk-art_n_4913492.html
E: Stigmatising, judging or condemning your populations or your own
peers is a proven crude, worthless, costly exercise
F: Non judgemental clinical, social and peer support is the only way
forward to end HIV
G: Clean needle and syringe exchange programs work and save money and
many lives and offer opportunities for rehabilitation