NEW AfA PROJECT – THE MOBILE HIV TESTING & COUNSELLING SERVICE (MTS)
Launched in 2011, the Mobile HIV Testing and Counselling Service (MTS) aim to make anonymous HIV testing more accessible and convenient to members of the public. This project is our latest effort to increase the accessibility of HIV testing in Singapore. This community project is sponsored by the MAC AIDS Fund and supported by Ministry of Health, Ministry of Community, Youth and Sports, and the Department of STI Control.
The MTS van is the first in Singapore and is an extension and expansion of the Anonymous Testing and Counselling Service (ATS) based in the DSC Clinic in Kelantan Lane. The ATS, which operates three times a week, is the busiest of the seven anonymous HIV test sites in Singapore approved by MOH.
Each year, more than 400 people are newly diagnosed with HIV. Although HIV testing is widely available in Singapore, 54% of newly diagnosed patients with HIV in 2010 were already in late-stage of HIV infection when they were diagnosed. Furthermore only 12% of infections were detected through voluntary testing. Early detection of HIV infection is essential as this reduces the chances of people spreading the infection unknowingly. Starting treatment earlier has been shown to improve health outcomes, significantly delay the onset of AIDS and allow infected persons to continue to lead active and productive lives. Therefore the provision of the MTS to the community will make it easier for members of the public to access HV testing.
We hope that the convenience of MTS will contribute to efforts to encourage the adoption of routine HIV testing and to make it a part of sexual responsibility. It is important for individuals who are sexually active to go for testing regularly. We hope that members of the public will become more proactive and open to HIV testing. The MTS taglines that we have adopted and hope to publicise are “Know Your Status - the life you save could be your own” and “Knowledge = Life”. We hope that these will strike a chord as they underline the importance of HIV prevention and early diagnosis for treatment.
MTS Van Set-up
The interior of a hybrid van, Toyota High Roof Hiace, has been converted into a counselling and testing room with complete clinical facilities to conduct rapid HIV and syphilis tests. The van will be manned by 2 trained staff who will facilitate counselling and provide testing services. Volunteers will be on site to answer public queries and to introduce the service to interested persons. Results of the rapid HIV and syphilis tests will be ready within 20/60 minutes. Tests will be performed in strictest confidence and will be anonymous.
Want to find out more about MTS?
The MTS service can be offered at a variety of locations. Through active outreach, AfA will work with agencies, community based groups and companies to bring the MTS to as many venues as possible. Ownership and collaboration with stakeholders are necessary to make HIV testing as non-threatening as possible. The timing of the service will be catered to needs of various groups. The operating hours will be flexible. The MTS van will also be parked at targeted locations in order to complement with AfA’s outreach programmes.
Businesses, organisations and health/lifestyle event companies interested to find out more can get in touch with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To commemorate the launch of our services and as an introduction of MTS, we will be providing complimentary HIV testing for a month.
UPDATE ON THE HIV/AIDS SITUATION IN SINGAPORE
Characteristics of new cases of HIV infection
|Singapore residents detected with HIV infection annually
|Percentage of the HIV infections in Singapore detected in the course of medical care or as a result of routine health testing
|Percentage of the HIV infections in Singapore already had late stage infection when diagnosed
|Percentage of the HIV infections in Singapore detected as a result of voluntary HIV testing.
Request for MOBILE ANONYMOUS TESTING & COUNSELLING SERVICE
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