Hiv Test Singapore – Should I Get Tested?
HIV Testing Singapore
HIV infection will cause an infected person to produce antibodies as a response to fight the disease. HIV tests revolve mainly on detecting these antibodies to indicate whether HIV infection is present in a person. The conventional way of HIV testing in Singapore involves a laboratory-based blood test.
Anonymous HIV testing in Singapore is available. No personal identifiable information will be collected at the time of testing. Instead, numbers will be assigned to anonymous HIV testing. The person undergoing the anonymous HIV test will be required to fill out a questionnaire without providing personal particulars. Even in the case of a positive test, no personal identifiable details are collected.
In 2007, the Ministry of Health Singapore (MOH) had approved a second method of detecting HIV infection. Rapid HIV test kits are allowed for HIV testing. If the test is performed properly, it has comparable accuracy to conventional ways. It only involves either a non-invasive oral swab or a quick finger-prick blood test (rather than drawing blood with needles). The results come out within 10-20 minutes, which tremendously reduces a patient’s anxiety while waiting for results.
What Is The HIV Window Period?
A window period is the time between your HIV exposure to the time when the infection is detectable via HIV testing. In most cases, the HIV window period can be up to 3 months, or in some instances, even longer.
If HIV testing is performed within the window period (ie, less than three months from the time of exposure), you are advised to repeat the test again three months after exposure, as the initial results may be inconclusive.
Types Of HIV Test Singapore
Time of Exposure
Recommended HIV Tests
Fluid used for tests
Duration before results
HIV RNA/DNA PCR test
4th Generation HIV p24 Antigen and Antibody test
Finger prick test
More than 4 weeks
3rd Generation Rapid HIV antibody test
HIV Antibody test
Oral saliva or finger prick test
*There are unfortunately no reliable HIV tests for exposure within the first 10 days. It is important to speak to your doctor within 72 hours after potential HIV exposure to consider Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP).
INFORMATION ON DIFFERENT HIV TESTS IN SINGAPORE
HIV antibody test in Singapore
This is a blood test routinely offered as a screening test for HIV testing. This involves ELISA laboratory technique where proteins or enzymes are being immobilized on a solid plate surface, allowing HIV antibodies, if present, to interact with the enzymes or proteins. This test is a reliable, repeatable way to detect the presence of certain HIV antibodies and thus HIV infection.
A positive HIV antibody ELISA test (a positive test that a person is infected with HIV) is usually seen within 3-6 weeks after exposure. The accuracy of ELISA HIV antibody tests is 90% at 1-month post-exposure and more than 99% at 3-months post-infection.
Western Blot for HIV, Singapore
If a person is found to have a positive HIV ELISA antibody test, further confirmatory tests will be offered to ascertain infection. This involves the Western Blot laboratory assay technique to detect antibodies in the patient fluid that will react to different viral proteins in HIV.
A positive Western Blot test is defined as the presence of antibodies to all the 3 main groups of the HIV protein. One can have indeterminate Western Blot results. This can be due to the presence of other unrelated antibodies of the body that cross-react with HIV proteins, or it may simply mean the HIV immune response is still developing post-infection.
When a patient receives an indeterminate Western Blot result, the patient should repeat the HIV test at 1, 2 and 3 months post-exposure of the suspected infection. If the test result is positive, together with a positive HIV ELISA antibody test, the sensitivity and specificity of both exceed 99.9%. If the results are negative, the test should be repeated 3 months after exposure.
Rapid HIV test in Singapore
Approved in 2007 by the Ministry of Health (MOH), rapid HIV testing can be used as screening tests with a quick result out within 20 minutes. A negative rapid HIV test results do not require confirmatory testing, but positive results require confirmation with both ELISA and Western Blot testing to ascertain if the patient is infected with HIV.
4th Generation HIV P24 Antigen and Antibody Test in Singapore
4th Generation HIV test screens for HIV antibodies and p24 antigen, which is the first virus antigen that appears in the body. This helps to reduce the window period of testing to 2-4 weeks.
HIV RNA/DNA PCR test in Singapore
HIV RNA/DNA PCR test screen for evidence of the HIV virus itself to suggest positive HIV infection. This can be used for testing early screen in people with high-risk to exposure or in cases where the Western Blot results are inconclusive.
DISCLOSURE OF HIV RESULTS
Anonymous HIV testing in Singapore is available. In an anonymous HIV test, the patient is not required to provide personal identifiable details at the time of undergoing the test.
It is, however, required under Singapore law that a person with HIV infection:
- To reveal his/her HIV status to their sexual partner before sexual intercourse
- To advise his/her sexual partner to go for HIV screening
- To inform any doctor or dentist on his/her HIV status before any invasive procedure
It is NOT required by law for people with HIV infection:
- To disclose their health status to individuals that do not have a sexual relationship with, including relatives or employers. The identity of the person with HIV is protected under the current laws concerning communicable diseases. Any unauthorized disclosure of health information is strictly prohibited in order to prevent identity exposure.