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7 Dec 2001

s'pore WAD party raises s$12k for AIDS group

Crystal Ball, Singapore?s official World AIDS Day party has raised S$12,000 for Action for AIDS, the republic?s only AIDS organisation.

Co-organised by Fridae.com and Action for AIDS (AfA), the party held at dbl 0 on Dec. 1 attracted 700 partygoers who helped raised S$12,000 through ticket sales, cash donations, and sales of Bombay Sapphire shooters, crystals and calendars of Singapore?s top athletes.

The money raised will benefit AIDS prevention programmes and the Medications Assistance Programme to alleviate the financial burden of acquiring expensive but otherwise effective medication for needy patients.

The scheme provides a subsidy of between S$200 to S$500 per month to each of its 20 recipients at any one time. AfA has so far have given assistance to over 60 PWAs (people living with HIV/AIDS) since the programme?s inception in 1998.

As of October this year, a total of 1547 people including 193 women have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Of these, 608 were asymptomatic carriers, 367 have full-blown AIDS and 572 have died.

According to Singapore?s Ministry Of Health, sexual transmission remains the main mode of HIV transmission. Of the 185 new cases reported this year, almost 97% acquired the infection through the sexual route with heterosexual transmission accounting for 80% of infections, homosexual transmission 9% and bisexual transmission 8%. The remaining 3% were due to intravenous drug use (2%) and perinatal transmission (1%).

As rates of HIV incidence continue to rise in Singapore, the organisers want to drive home the message of safer sex amongst minority and hard to reach communities who may not be directly addressed by traditional government programmes (e.g. sex workers, men who have sex with men and transgendered people).

?AIDS education amongst minority groups in Singapore is at an appalling state. Despite these being high-risk groups, there is still not enough being done at a national level to reach out to them?. Dr Stuart Koe, COO, Fridae.com.

Dr Roy Chan, President, AfA has said that the group will reassess the MSM (men who have sex with men) educational programme next year although the details have not been finalised.


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