The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that damages the body’s immune system, rendering the body too weak to fight off infections and diseases effectively. If left untreated, HIV progresses into an advanced stage called acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), whereby the immune system is severely compromised. AIDS is a chronic and potentially life-threatening condition, so prevention in the form of HIV screenings and treatment is key.
Currently, there is no cure for HIV, but treatments such as antiretroviral therapy can alleviate symptoms and keep the virus under control, allowing patients to lead normal, healthier and longer lives. HIV screening in Singapore aims to catch the virus as early as possible and prevent it from developing into AIDS.
HIV is caused by a virus that can be transmitted through contact with the bodily fluid of an infected individual, including blood, semen, vaginal fluids, anal mucus and breastmilk. Activities that can spread HIV include:
HIV, however, is not transmitted through saliva, urine or sweat. You cannot get HIV by holding hands, sharing eating and drinking utensils, sharing toilet seats, from mosquitoes and other insects, and through the air or water.
We believe in universal HIV screening, with various testing tools available to cater for a wide range of patients. All tests are conducted accordingly to the latest published guidelines.
A HIV infection does not always present symptoms. If a person does develop symptoms for HIV, it most often appears between 3 to 6 weeks after infections.
People who have contracted HIV will present flu-like symptoms 2 to 4 weeks after infection. These symptoms include:
Ultimately, the only way to confirm whether you have HIV is to undergo HIV screening in Singapore, especially if you are at higher risk of potentially getting it.
Because symptoms are unreliable and often do not develop in many patients, the most reliable way to determine if a person has been infected with HIV is still via screening tests.
How Do HIV Tests in Singapore Work?
HIV tests work by detecting antibodies, p24 antigens, or the presence of HIV in the blood. Generally, these factors are only detectable within a specified time frame depending on the type of test performed. This is why doctors recommend taking multiple tests during the appropriate window period in order to ensure accurate results.
There are three main types of HIV tests in Singapore:
When Should You Get Tested for HIV?
Typically, HIV infections can present symptoms in 2-4 weeks after exposure. However, there are cases where it presents little to no symptoms, especially in the early weeks following infection. Therefore, HIV screening in Singapore is crucial to determine whether or not an HIV infection is present.
There are several tests performed to detect HIV, such as the HIV RNA PCR test and the HIV Combo test. These tests can be done by collecting blood or saliva samples from the patient. While rapid HIV tests can deliver faster results, doctors generally recommend taking lab-based screenings for greater accuracy.
The type of test done is determined by the time from when a person could have been infected with HIV. If the potential HIV infection was:
Seamless integration with HIV care
Multiple methods to screen
Minimal waiting with quick test results
Getting infected with HIV is no longer a death sentence, with many people living with HIV leading healthy, productive and meaningful lives.
HIV is now a chronic disease that can be well managed with medication not much different from diabetes or high blood pressure.
The infection can be brought under good control with medication. Getting the infection under control also eliminates the risk of passing the HIV on to another person.
People living with HIV who maintain an undetectable viral load have the same life expectancy as someone without HIV.
The cost of managing HIV has also reduced significantly. Anti-retroviral medications used to treat HIV are now much more affordable.
Even though a person living with HIV may feel completely well for years, it is recommended to start HIV treatment as soon as possible. This is because even though it may not cause any symptoms in the first few years, an HIV infection causes chronic inflammation in the body and can cause health problems later in life.
Rest assured that Dr Tan will take you step by step through the HIV treatment process.
Reduce the possibility of passing HIV
Effectively manage HIV symptoms
Protect those around you with qualified advice
“Every patient deserves our fullest attention.”
If you have any queries, please contact us at 6513 0359 or use the contact form below.
10 Sinaran Drive #09-30, Novena Medical Centre, Singapore 307506
Monday to Friday: 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays