Analysis of 2004 data pertaining to MSM testing at the Action for AIDS Anonymous HIV Testing and Counselling Centre reveals the following trends:
- Almost 1 out of 20 MSM tested in 2004 were HIV positive. HIV prevalence among MSM clients went up from 3.5% in 2003 to 4.3% in 2004
- Out of all HIV-positive clients at the clinic, more than 3 out of 4 were MSM. 76.1% in 2004, compared to 68.4% in 2003
- Compared to 2003, the number of HIV-positive MSM more than doubled from 26 to 54, one new case for every week of 2004.
- 9 out of 10 MSM who tested positive had not thought they faced high-risk exposure.
The good news is the community's growing confidence in the centre as an effective and safe testing site. 2004 saw a 68% increase in the number of MSM coming forward for screening:
No. of MSM Clients: 748
% of MSM Clients out of All Clients: 28.0%
No. of MSM Clients: 1,253
% of MSM Clients out of All Clients: 31.7%
Word-of-mouth was the most common way in which MSM found out about the clinic - almost 1 in 2 MSM clients got to know about the testing centre through friends. Promotional/educational materials by AfA also seemed to have reached the community, as evidenced by 14% of MSM clients having become acquainted with the centre in this way.
Who tested positive in 2004?
Thirty-somethings were particularly hard hit, with 4 in 10 HIV-positive MSM falling into this age group. On the other hand, youth was certainly no defence against the virus - the youngest infected MSM was 18 years old.
No. of HIV+ MSM by Age
About three quarters of the MSM clients who tested in 2004 had undergone screening before, and it is hoped that 2005 will see more MSM clients with risk behaviour coming forward for testing, especially if they have not tested before. It is those who do not know that they are HIV-positive that are likely to spread HIV to others; those who know their status take precautions to avoid further transmission.
Details of the Anonymous HIV Testing and Counselling Service:
Venue: DSC Clinic
Address: 31 Kelantan Lane (off Jalan Besar, near Bugis), #01-16 Singapore 200031
Wednesday 6.30 - 8.00 p.m.
Saturday 1.00 - 4.00 p.m.
(except on public holidays)
No personal particulars are recorded even if the result is positive. Trained volunteers offer pre- and post-test counselling. Test results are available within 20 minutes of doing the test.
Please contact Roger at 96952144 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.