HIV in Singapore: Biggest rise in cases among men in 50s

SINGAPORE - The largest rise in number of new HIV cases in Singapore last year was among men in their 50s.

According to Health Ministry statistics, the number of heterosexual men aged between 50 and 59 with HIV went up from 48 in 2011 to 68 last year.

Overall, 469 people in Singapore were newly reported with HIV infection. It was 461 in 2011.

This brought the total HIV numbers to 5,775 at the end of last year.

More than nine in 10 were men and nearly 90 per cent of all new cases reported last year were between 20 to 59 years of age.

What was worrying was that almost half of the new cases already had late-stage HIV infection when they were diagnosed.

Sexual transmission remained the main mode of HIV transmission among Singapore residents.

Almost half of the new cases were diagnosed during medical care while another 34 per cent during routine screening.

Only 14 per cent were detected as a result of voluntary HIV screening.

A higher proportion of homosexuals or bisexuals had their HIV infection detected through voluntary screening compared to heterosexuals.

As at Dec 31 last year, 2,814 persons were asymptomatic carriers (carriers of the disease who do not have symptoms), 1,379 have or have had Aids-related illnesses and 1,582 have died.

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