• Vol. 35 No. 4, 229–235
  • 15 April 2006

Rising Trends of STIs and HIV Infection in Singapore – A Review of Epidemiology Over the last 10 Years (1994 to 2003)

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ABSTRACT

Introduction: This is a review of the epidemiology and trends of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Singapore from 1994 to 2003.

Materials and Methods: Data collated for both notifiable and non-notifiable STIs from 1994 to 2003 were analysed. This data consisted of STI notifications from medical practitioners in Singapore as well as from the Department of STI Control clinic itself.

Results: There was a decline in the overall STI incidence in Singapore in the first half of the last decade from 215 cases per 100,000 population (7200 cases) in 1994 to 162 cases per 100,000 population (6318 cases) in 1999, followed by an increasing trend in the number of acute STIs (both bacterial and viral) over the past 5 years to 195 cases per 100,000 population (8175 cases) in 2003 (P <0.001). The incidence of HIV has risen sharply over the last decade whilst that of other viral STIs has not decreased. Singaporeans are becoming sexually active at a younger age, with casual partners constituting the main primary contacts.

Conclusions: Although there has been a significant decline in the overall incidence of STIs in Singapore over the last decade, a rise in acute STIs over the last 5 years has resulted in the need to identify the causal factors, and to intensify existing as well as develop new STI/HIV prevention programmes for the general population and certain core groups.


A review of the epidemiology and trends of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Singapore from 1977 to 1996 showed a declining number of all STIs notified in Singapore from 22,427 in 1978 to 5570 in 1996, with the 20-to-29 years age group consistently accounting for the highest proportion of STIs. There was a progressive decline in the incidence of bacterial STIs over those 20 years, with viral STIs remaining at a relatively constant level.

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