News Update: Sentence Produced in Singapore HIV Registry Leak Case

A Kentucky court found Mikhy Farrera Brochez guilty of attempting to extort the Singaporean government in connection to the official HIV registry leak. The official sentence will be announced in September but Brochez faces jail time. He released the names and addresses of 5,400 Singaporeans and 8,800 foreigners featured in the official Singaporean HIV registry. Brochez said that he was doing whistleblowing to raise awareness about the unreliability of the registry. The Kentucky prosecution, however, refuted these claims and showed Brochez had been going after personal gains.

Continue reading

Singapore Still Lags behind in Ensuring HIV Social Acceptance

Medicine has accomplished a lot in terms of treating HIV-positive individuals. HIV PEP, HIV PrEP and antiretroviral medications could make the viral load virtually undetectable. Regardless of medical advances, however, HIV acceptance in Singapore remains low. Even medical professionals contribute to the perpetuation of the stigma. Because of the negative attitudes, the number of people who get tested and who start receiving treatment early enough after an infection remains low.

Continue reading

WHO: One Million STD New Diagnoses Every Single Day

Globally, more than one million new STI infections occur on a daily basis, the World Health Organization reports. Four conditions are responsible for the bulk of these new diagnoses – gonorrhoea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis and syphilis. Researchers have also identified a troublesome new trend. There have been multiple super-gonorrhoea infections. These involve a bacterial strain that has evolved to become antibiotic-resistant. As a result, such infections become nearly impossible to treat.

Continue reading

Are We Close to the Development of Vaccines for Common STDs?

The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases will grant massive sums for the research and development of STD vaccines over the coming five years. The scientific community will focus on the three most common STIs in the world – chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis. While information about STIs is readily available, the incidence of such infections has increased rapidly. Because the diseases pose a serious public health risk in countries across the world, all efforts will be concentrated on their prevention and eventual eradication.

Continue reading

HIV Status of More Than 14,000 People in Singapore Leaked Online

In the beginning of 2019, the HIV positive status and the personal information of 14,200 was published online after the Singaporean HIV registry maintained by the Ministry of Health was breached. A US citizen staying in Singapore on an employment permit and a former Singaporean doctor have been identified as the individuals behind the breach. While both of them have received prison sentences, HIV positive individuals and advocacy groups worry about the repercussions of the leak. Some even claim HIV positive people could sue the government for the negligent handling of sensitive information.

Continue reading

The Truth about Teens and STIs in Singapore

In 2017, STI infection rates among teenagers in Singapore started going up for the first time in years. Research suggests that several factors contribute to risky behaviour among adolescents. While young people are aware of barrier contraception and its use, they lack the confidence to utilise condoms properly. Peer pressure and misunderstandings about the nature of STIs and their spread also contribute to problems. Openness on behalf of parents and educators are two of the key essentials for de-stigmatising sex and giving young individuals the information they need to engage responsibly with their peers.

Continue reading

The World Already Has a Second Patient Cured from HIV Infection

A bone marrow transplant from an HIV resistant donor has made it possible for a second person in the world to be cleared from an HIV infection 100 per cent. The man in London received stem cells and he was declared completely freed from the virus within 18 months of stopping the antiretroviral drug therapy. The highly sensitive test used on him did not detect any traces of the virus left in the blood of the patient, giving the world hope for the development of an effective AIDS cure.

Continue reading

Singapore Diagnoses Fewer New HIV Cases in 2018

Singapore has seen a decrease in the number of diagnosed HIV cases in 2018. The vast majority of affected individuals are men. Roughly equal percentages of homosexual and heterosexual individuals are affected. Unfortunately, HIV is diagnosed at a later stage of the infection most of the time. Very few people have gotten diagnosed through voluntary, regular screening and most still get their positive HIV status via a routine medical examination or healthcare check.

Continue reading