In Singapore, get secret HIV test done in van

Singapore: In a first-of-its-kind service in Southeast Asia, a community organisation in Singapore has launched a mobile service van that would conduct HIV tests and also keep the person`s identity and the test results a secret.

Action for AIDS Singapore launched the test service Wednesday, Xinhua reported.

The van is equipped with clinical facilities to conduct HIV and syphilis tests. It will travel with two specially-trained staff and will be "parked in a discreet manner", where the entrance is not in clear view to the public.

The results will be disclosed within 20 minutes and kept strictly confidential.

No personal particulars like name and addresses will be taken. When in the van, the person being tested will be given a serial number for registration before the quick HIV test.

If the results are found to be positive, the person will be recommended to go for a full blood test at an anonymous clinic. Counselling and risk assessment will also be conducted.

The service would be easily accessible because tests can be done at irregular hours as opposed to standard hours at a clinic, said Mobile Testing Service manager Anwar Hashim.

"The timing is unique.... in the evening, in late hours or even weekends. By having this van on site, it will enhance and value-add the programme and also create opportunity for the members of public to do testing," he said.

The organisation hopes the service will reverse the low rate of HIV tests in Singapore.

Action for AIDS president Roy Tan spoke about the need to bring HIV tests to the community rather than asking members of the public to come to clinics and take tests themselves.

It`s all about making HIV testing "more accessible" to them, he said.


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