SharePoint
A- A A+
NCID > About NCID > Our Departments > National HIV Programme

National HIV Programme

National HIV Programme

 

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection remains a public health priority in Singapore. The National HIV Programme (NHIVP) was established under the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) to coordinate this country-wide HIV response. Through a multidisciplinary approach, the NHIVP collaborates with clinicians and healthcare professionals, public health practitioners, academics and other stakeholders.

In line with the Ministry of Health's objectives to end HIV in Singapore, the NHIVP will:

  • Coordinate the formulation and recommendation of evidence-based guidelines on HIV testing, prevention, treatment and patient management;

  • Monitor HIV trends in Singapore through working with the National Public Health Epidemiology Unit (NPHEU) to conduct national epidemiological surveillance of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs);

  • Provide enhanced training to healthcare professionals to strengthen their competence and confidence in the management of patients with HIV/AIDS; and

  • Develop HIV education campaigns to increase awareness and reduce related stigma in the general population.

The NHIVP Vision

Aimed at achieving the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets and beyond, our vision is to provide quality and holistic patient-centred care for all persons living with HIV in Singapore and build an environment that is free from stigma and discrimination.

 

Enhanced HIV Programme (EHIVP)

NHIVP provides policy and strategic oversight for the Enhanced HIV Programme. The programme has been operationalised by the respective Clinical HIV Programmes under NCID, National University Hospital (NUH) and Singapore General Hospital (SGH) to provide care for persons living with HIV.

 

Our Team

 

​National HIV Programme

NCID Clinical HIV Programme

Director

A/Prof Sophia Archuleta

Deputy Director

Dr Wong Chen Seong

Consultant

Dr Choy Chiaw Yee

Programme Admin

Ms Lavinia Lin

Ms Sally Low

Director

Dr Wong Chen Seong

Deputy Director

Dr Choy Chiaw Yee

Programme Manager

Mr P Arun Kumar

 

For any further enquiries, please email: nhivp@ncid.sg

HIV

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the body's immune system, making a person more vulnerable to other infections and diseases. It is spread through certain bodily fluids from a person with HIV, most commonly during unprotected sex (sex without using a condom or taking medicine to prevent or treat HIV) or through sharing injection drug equipment, such as needles. If left untreated, HIV can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

There is currently no effective cure for HIV, but it can be controlled with proper care. By taking HIV medicine (called antiretroviral therapy or ART), people with HIV can live long, healthy lives and protect their partners. In addition, there are effective methods to prevent getting HIV through sex or drug use for people who are considered at risk for HIV, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).

AIDS

AIDS, or advanced HIV infection, is a late or advanced stage of HIV infection that occurs when the body's immune system is badly damaged because of the virus. A person receives an AIDS diagnosis when:

  • their CD4 cell count falls below 200 cells per cubic millimetre of blood (or 200 cells/mm3) (A healthy CD4 count is above 500 cells/mm3); or
  • they develop one or more opportunistic infections regardless of their CD4 count.

To learn more information about HIV/AIDS, please visit:

HIV Testing

Getting tested for HIV is the only way to know your HIV status. Knowing your status is important to keep you and your partner healthy. Delay in the detection and diagnosis leads to late initiation of treatment with poorer prognosis and outcomes, increasing the risk of onward transmission of infections.

In Singapore, HIV testing is traditionally performed in hospitals, clinics and through services provided by community-based organisations. Some clinics provide the options of rapid testing with results delivered in 20 minutes, or anonymous testing services. In 2008, the Ministry of Health (MOH) also implemented a voluntary opt-out screening (VOS) programme for all adult inpatients in public restructured hospitals to improve detection rates and reduce the prevalence of undiagnosed and late-stage diagnosis HIV infection.

HIV self-testing is not yet an option in Singapore but may be available in the near future.

The national recommendation for HIV testing can be found below under ‘National Recommendations and Guidelines’.


Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a risk-reduction treatment against HIV, which involves the use of HIV medicine (called antiretroviral therapy or ART) to prevent HIV transmission. PrEP will be prescribed to HIV-negative individuals who are considered at high risk of acquiring HIV infection by doctors. When taken as prescribed, PrEP is effective for preventing HIV. Since PrEP only protects against HIV, condom use is still important to prevent other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Talk to your doctor if you are interested in PrEP.

For more information regarding PrEP, please click here. PrEP services are also available at other public and private institutions in Singapore.

For any other PrEP related enquiries, please call the HIV PrEP clinic at (65) 6357 7000 or email prepcare@ttsh.com.sg

The national guidance for PrEP can be found below under ‘National Recommendations and Guidelines’.

Post-exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)

Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) refers to taking a course of ART to reduce the chance of HIV transmission after a recent high-risk exposure (usually within 72 hours). A high-risk exposure to HIV includes:

  • any unprotected anal or vaginal sex with a partner who is HIV positive or a person in a HIV-risk group (commercial sex workers, IV drug users, men who have sex with men/ bisexual men),
  • sharing of or exposure to contaminated needles or blades, particularly needle-stick injuries, or
  • victims of sexual assault.

PEP should be used only in emergency situations and must be started within 72 hours after a possible exposure to HIV. It is not a substitute for other HIV prevention methods such as consistent condom use, and it is not meant for regular use by people who may be exposed to HIV frequently. One should consider pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) instead if there is repeated exposure to HIV (see PrEP above). Talk to your doctor if you think you need PEP.  

Should you require PEP after operating hours, over the weekends and/or during the public holidays, please visit the Emergency Department of any public hospitals and request for PEP.

Antiretroviral Therapy (ART)

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is an effective treatment for HIV. It involves taking a combination of HIV medicine every day. ART is recommended for all people who are infected with HIV. Although ART cannot cure HIV, it can control the virus and help people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. ART can also reduce the risk of HIV transmission (see Treatment as Prevention); however, it does not prevent transmission of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The national recommendations for ART can be found below under ‘National Recommendations and Guidelines’.

Treatment as Prevention (TasP)

Treatment as Prevention (TasP) is the use of ART to prevent the transmission of HIV. It works when people living with HIV (PLHIV) take their HIV medicine exactly as prescribed and have regular follow-up care for viral load testing, to ensure the viral load is suppressed and stays undetectable (<50 copies/ml). PLHIV with undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to others (i.e., Undetectable = Untransmissible (U=U)).

To learn more about TasP, please click below under ‘Publication and Media’.


​NHIVP consistently hosts a series of education and training events to both healthcare professionals and general population to increase HIV awareness and prevention. 

 

For Healthcare Professionals:

Healthcare Worker Stigma and Discrimination Online Modules (coming soon)

The Healthcare Worker Stigma and Discrimination Online Modules is a series of comprehensive web-based educational modules, aiming to increase HIV-related knowledge, especially regarding HIV-related stigma and discrimination. The goal is to assist healthcare workers in recognising their own unconscious bias and discriminatory attitudes towards people living with HIV, and help them adopt and promote best practices in the care of people living with HIV. The modules are interactive and catered to various roles in healthcare institutions (for example, nurses, doctors, PSAs, and healthcare students). It will be available to all healthcare workers in Singapore.

PrEP Prescriber Course   

The PrEP Prescriber Course is to educate and equip general practitioners, primary care doctors and people who work with individuals at risk of HIV infection with the appropriate knowledge and skills to provide PrEP services.

PrEP Prescriber Course 2022

 

For Everyone:

HIV Community Engagement Forum 

The HIV Community Engagement Forum aims to bring together people from all walks of life, such as infectious disease specialists, healthcare professionals who do not specialise in the field of infectious diseases, community members working with HIV populations and the general population with limited or no knowledge of HIV, to engage in dialogues and discussions in order to raise awareness and combat various misconceptions surrounding HIV.

HIV Community Engagement Forum 2021: Increasing HIV Testing in Singapore

Singapore HIV Congress (SHC)

The Singapore HIV Congress (SHC), started in 2019, is held once every two years. It brings together the medical, scientific and academic fraternity in a forum to present the latest developments in HIV medicine and related fields. The aim of the congress is to provide an avenue for exchange of ideas spurred by new findings in HIV testing, treatment, prevention and HIV stigma in the public domain.

Year​Summary Reports​Event Recording

​2021

SHC 2021: Session 1

SHC 2021: Session 2

Singapore HIV Congress 2021: 90-90-90 and Beyond (Session 1)

Singapore HIV Congress 2021: 90-90-90 and Beyond (Session 2)

 

World AIDS Day (WAD)

World AIDS Day started in 1988 and takes place on 1 December each year. It is an international day for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Every year, NHIVP commemorates WAD through activities to raise awareness about HIV, challenge misconceptions about HIV transmission and infection, and develop empathy and solidarity between people living with HIV and healthcare workers.

World AIDS Day 2021: Following Jason's Journey – Diagnosis and Beyond

World AIDS Day 2020: We are in this together

 

To receive information about the events, please email: training@ncid.sg


​NHIVP has been actively working with various partners on educational campaigns busting myths and misconceptions, and raising awareness for HIV-related topics such as HIV transmission and prevention, and HIV de-stigmatisation through the following:

National Campaigns

With early and effective treatment, people living with HIV can lead lives no different from others (2021)

 

Content Pieces

  1. Mothership, NCID: Living with HIV Half-truths
  2. MOSG Micro-documentary, NUH: The REAL HIV issue in Singapore - Despite decades of research and development, medical advancements, and public education, why do people living with HIV in Singapore continue to face stigma and discrimination?

It's Time to Spread the Facts (2019)

 

Expert Opinion

  1. NCID, 2021: Ending HIV (and its stigma) in Singapore - the ambitious goal of the NHIVP

  2. The Straits Times, 2020: HIV and COVID-19: Lessons from two plagues

  3. The Straits Times, 2019: Need to maintain trust with people living with HIV

Conference Presentations

  1. Choy, CY. Treatment as prevention: U=U, 11th Singapore AIDS Conference, Singapore, 8 Dec 2018


Document

First approved

Last reviewed

Description

HIV Testing Recommendations

Full text

Summary slides

2021

​-

Adapted from the major international guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the NHIVP developed the HIV Testing Recommendations to:

  1. Increase the uptake of HIV testing nationally;
  2. Allow earlier detection and identification of individuals with HIV infection;
  3. Facilitate timely linkage to clinical services; and 
  4. Reduce further transmission of HIV infection in Singapore by increasing testing and linking positive cases to care early.

​Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Guidance

Full text

Summary slides

2019

2021

The NHIVP convened a PrEP Workgroup in May 2019, to develop a guide for physicians on prescribing PrEP as an additional tool to prevent HIV infection. Updated every two years, the Workgroup's guidance is an adaptation of current guidelines on PrEP from the WHO, the US CDC, British HIV Association (BHIVA), the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine (ASHM), European AIDS Clinical Society and the Taiwan AIDS Society, as well as a previous local guideline created by the PrEP taskforce in April 2018. The guidance aims to:

  1. Assist clinicians in their evaluation of patients who are seeking PrEP; and
  2. Assist clinicians in commencing and monitoring their patients on PrEP.

Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) Recommendations

Full text

Summary slides

2019

2021

The NHIVP developed the Use of Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) in Adults Living with HIV in Singapore to guide physicians on the ART prescription based on patients’ needs. Based on international guidelines, which had previously been applied in Singapore prima facie, the national recommendations are tailored to the local context to consider unique domestic considerations. Reviewed and updated every two years, the purpose of the national recommendations is to enhance the care of people living with HIV, providing the best possible treatments to patients.

Primary Care Guidelines

Under development

​​-

The Primary Care Guidelines aim to create an easy to follow, evidence-based recommendations for the provision of holistic patient-centred primary and differentiated care to adults living with HIV in Singapore, complementary to ART recommendations. This also capitalises on existing healthcare infrastructure in specialist centres as well as the community, and explore differentiated care models such as for ageing or using telemedicine, to address healthcare-associated stigma. The Primary Care Guidelines is currently under development and projected to be completed in March 2022, with reviews and updates once every two years.

 














Last Updated on