Singapore Announces Plans to Increase Use of Rapid HIV Tests
July 30, 2007
Singapore's Ministry of Health has announced it plans to expand the use of rapid HIV testing kits to more clinics in the country, Singapore's Today reports. Only three clinics nationwide provide HIV testing under an anonymous rapid-test kit pilot program. Standard HIV blood tests are conducted at hospitals and analyzed only at approved laboratories, according to Today. Although rapid-test kits, which cost about $50 each and take about 20 minutes, will be used at more clinics, anonymous testing will be available only at the three clinics participating in the pilot program.
Chua Thiam Eng, a general practitioner at Cambridge Clinic, said, "If we think about which situation we are better off with -- continue not testing at all, or testing anonymously with the hope that these people take responsibility for the results -- it is better to test." Lionel Lee, executive director of Action for AIDS, said that any testing program must have support mechanisms, such as counseling, in place. Lee added that AFA's policy is to "counsel those who test positive to go into the system (by informing the Communicable Disease Center), as this gives them better access to treatment and support" (Today, 7/27).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.