Only 3.1% of 960 MSM Have HIV

Definitions

Before proceeding to explain the subject header, I need to clarify on the term MSM. MSM means Men Who Have Sex With Men. Top or BottomGay men are part of the MSM category, however, MSM are not necessarily gay. It can be the husband in a heterosexual couple, it can be that single bachelor in a wild stag party, it can be anyone who at one point of time or another, engages in same-sex sexual behaviour.

Summary

Now that I have clarified the term MSM, I will proceed to summarise the report provided by Action For AIDS(AFA) last week. The report tested MSM for HIV using the OraQuick Oral Test kits which gives an immediate result using a mouth/saliva swab.

OraQuick Testkit

The tests was conducted at various location frequent by MSMs between December 2007 and February

2008. AFA provides the personnel on-site to ensure that the tests were conducted properly and safely while giving participants succint information in the event that they are tested positive.

The tests were still conducted anonymously, patients identified only by number tags.

Analysis

All in all, 960 MSM took part in this test, in which 3.1% or 30 persons have tested positive for HIV. See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Talk No EvilIn 2006, a Behavioural Surveillance Studies(BSS) conducted by Fridae (a regional gay portal) showed that the number of MSM going for HIV test is 46.9%. In 2007, a similar survey found that cases of unprotected anal sex between men was found to have been reduced by 22-27% compared to the BSS’06.

AFA is aiming for the number of MSM to go for HIV tests to hit 80% by 2011.

The number of clients regardless of sexual orientations or preferences have grown in 2007. AFA saw 6,903 clients tested at the Anonymous HIV Testing Centre; this was a double digit growth of 14% compared to attendances in 2006. Of those tested, more than 30% are first time walk-ins and that showed a strong public confidence in AFA and that the general public know the importance of early testing. The number of clients that tested positive in 2007 were 125.

Be Responsible

Outreach

AFA has tried engaging the public through a lot of medium. Various campaigns have been launched to stressed the importance of safer sexual behaviour and early testing. AFA are fortunate to have Fridae to aid them, coming out with various publicity tools, including those that may appeal to the younger generations. AFA have also put a foot in the Social Media scene by putting up a Facebook account, where it has on some occasions shared information and requested some interactions from the subscribers in the form of focus groups.

Social Media Interaction Campaign:

With Fridae: http://www.afa.org.sg/thinkagain/index.html

With Trevvy: http://www.trevvy.com/sgboyx/index.php?showtopic=11016&st=0

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=25790415315

Anonymous Test Centre

AfA anonymous HIV testing and Counselling centre is
opened on:
31 Kelantan Lane #01-16, Singapore 200031
Tuesday & Wednesday
6:30pm to 8:00pm
Saturday
1:30pm to 3:30pm
For more information on the clinic, operations and testing services please feel free to call 62540212 or visit their website http://www.afa.org..sg

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=31+Kelantan+Lane+%2301-16,+Singapore+200031&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=43.037246,66.972656&ie=UTF8&ll=1.305962,103.857687&spn=0.006661,0.008175&z=17
or http://tinyurl.com/49mxnu

Sources:

http://www.afa.org.sg/otherpublications/Implications%20of%20the%20amendments%20to%20the%20Infectious%20Diseases%20Act%20recently%20passed%20in%20Parliament.doc
or http://tinyurl.com/3o9gnd

http://www.afa.org.sg/candlelight.asp
or http://tinyurl.com/4bbgyd

http://www.fridae.com/newsfeatures/article.php?articleid=2232&viewarticle=1
or http://tinyurl.com/4vbmkx

http://www.healthcareitnews.com/story.cms?id=9052
or http://tinyurl.com/4zc82c

Subscribe / Share

Article by mhisham

Authors bio is coming up shortly.
mhisham tagged this post with: , , , , , , Read 80 articles by

2 Comments

  1. Nice article!! Truly enlightening :)

    Just one thing to clarify :

    Are the percentages of MSM tested positive through the test were reflected as persons tested positive for HIV? Or the percentages reflected are after confirmatory antibody and/or Western Blot testing?

    It is a known fact that these quick test kits and ALL HIV screening tests that employ the ELISA method have a high false positive rate – meaning that a high percentage of people being tested positive may not actually have HIV per se.

    I am sure AFA does follow up those who are tested positive on the saliva test with appropriate confirmatory tests. I just wonder if the initial reporter took into consideration these numbers…. because, in the end, if the percentages quoted are from just the on the spot tests, the actual number of MSM tested ending up positive with HIV would be even less.
    :)

  2. Admin says:

    Thanks @Ceddric. Good to see you commenting here. :)

    This report was released from AFA; I am sure that those who tested positive have been requested to go for another test.

    I agree with you that screening tests thats employs the ELISA method can produce false positive results. Even for tests which uses blood, may fail if the person has just recovered from an illness.

    That said, I have forwarded your comment to my contact in AFA and there should be an official reply soon.

    Thanks for checking in! :)

Leave a Reply

Follow me on Twitter

%d bloggers like this: