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HIV, short for human immunodeficiency virus, is a type of sexually transmitted infection that targets the immune system.
Our white blood cells (also known as CD4) are responsible for fighting infections in the body. HIV kills those white blood cells, weakening the immune system, leaving HIV-positive patients susceptible to illnesses such as bacterial infections and even cancer.
If left untreated, HIV can cause a disease called AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), also known as late-stage HIV infection. There is currently no cure for HIV, though there are medications available that can help to manage the infection.
HIV is transmitted during sexual intercourse through:
It can also be transmitted through sharing of needles for administering drugs.
HIV testing is recommended for all adults regardless of sexual activity. Testing can be done once every 3 to 6 months to ensure you are free of the virus.
For those experiencing symptoms of HIV like fever, swollen lymph nodes and tiredness, you are highly advised to undergo HIV testing immediately as such symptoms may be a sign of a weakened immune system.
Those who have had sexual intercourse with a suspected affected individual or an HIV-positive individual are also recommended to undergo HIV testing.
You may choose to undergo HIV testing if:
You have engaged in unprotected vaginal and anal sex before.
You have engaged in sexual intercourse with more than one partner.
You have been diagnosed with an STI/STD in the last few months.
In other words, if you are at a high risk of contracting the HIV infection, consider taking PrEP.
P24 Antigen/Antibody Test
HIV-1/2 Antibody Rapid Test
Have a meal prior to visiting the clinic as blood will be drawn during the tests.
Wear loose and comfortable clothing with sleeves that can be rolled up.
Let your doctor know about any preexisting medical conditions and/or drug allergies.
After HIV testing in Singapore, you will receive your results shortly after or a few days later. Your test samples may also be sent to a lab for further examination.
If you are HIV positive, you will require a follow-up test to confirm your results. After which, you are required to see your doctor to review your health and medical history. He or she will discuss how to manage your condition with the right medication and without passing it on to your sexual partners.