385 new HIV cases in S'pore between Jan & Oct
In the first 10 months of this year, 385 new cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) were reported among Singapore residents.
The Ministry of Heath, which gave this update on Thursday, expects the total number of notified HIV cases in 2012 to be similar to that of 2011, when there were 461 cases.
In the first six months of this year, 215 new cases of HIV, which causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), were reported.
Between July and October, there were 170 new cases.
Elaborating on the new cases detected between January and June, MOH said 92 per cent were males and 8 per cent were females.
Most of them - or 208 - caught the virus through sex.
Half of those infected had heterosexual sex, while 43 per cent were infected from homosexual transmission, and 4 per cent from bisexual transmission.
About half, or 47 per cent, of those infected were between 30 and 49 years.
Six in 10, or 63 per cent, were single; 23 per cent were married; and 10 per cent were divorced or separated.
Half of the new cases reported between January and June already had late-stage HIV infection when they were diagnosed, similar to the pattern in previous years.
Slightly more than half (55%) found out they had the virus during HIV testing, as part of medical care.
Another 15 per cent were detected through health screening; 14 per cent were detected during voluntary HIV screening; and the rest found out they were HIV-positive through contact tracing and other screening.
A higher proportion of homosexuals - or 28 per cent - were detected during voluntary screening, compared with 4 per cent for heterosexuals.
MOH and the Health Promotion Board (HPB) have urged individuals to protect themselves from HIV infection by following the principles of 'ABCD': abstinence, being faithful, correct and consistent use of condoms and early detection.