Acute HIV infection in Singapore: predominance of men who have sex with men.

Published: December 1, 2011


Introduction: The incidence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in Singapore is on the rise. We aimed to study the clinical epidemiology of acute HIV infection in Singapore. Methods: All patients that fulfilled the criteria for definite and probable acute HIV infection were prospectively identified from January 1, 2003 to June 30, 2006. Demographic, clinical and laboratory data were recorded. Results: A total of 16 out of 34 patients had definite acute HIV infection, and 68 percent of the entire cohort comprised men who have sex with men (MSM). Ten percent of the patients were co-infected with hepatitis B and C viruses, while 27 percent were infected with syphilis. Signs and symptoms were nonspecific, with fever, rash and diarrhoea being the three most common symptoms. Only 35 percent of the patients required hospitalisation. Conclusion: Men who have sex with men account for the majority of patients with acute HIV infections in Singapore, many of them also being co-infected with syphilis. Safer sex campaign among MSM should be implemented or intensified.

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