Review of HIV disclosure law to take ‘latest scientific evidence’ into account: MOH

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Health (MOH) is conducting a review of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disclosure law and will take the “latest scientific evidence into account”.

This is to ensure continued relevance and alignment with public health policy goals, the ministry said in response to CNA’s queries on Wednesday (Dec 27).

MOH said that it is conducting a review of the Infectious Diseases Act following the White Paper on Singapore’s Response to COVID-19 and will take the latest scientific evidence into account when reviewing the sections on HIV.

The ministry has been monitoring medical and scientific advances on the effectiveness of HIV treatment in suppressing the virus.

“Studies show that people living with HIV who have been compliant with treatment and have maintained a stable undetectable viral load have practically no risk of transmitting HIV to their sexual partners,” MOH said.

Singapore currently requires a person living with HIV to inform their partner of the risk of contracting HIV infection before sexual activity takes place.

This current requirement accords “choice and protection” to the partner, who can decide whether to engage in sexual activity and to take precautions if so, such as through the use of condoms, thereby reducing the risk of spreading HIV, the ministry said.

Information relating to the identities of those living with HIV continues to be protected under the Infectious Diseases Act, MOH added.  

However, their identities can be disclosed if they are charged in court, as long as it does not lead to the identification of any victims or witnesses. 

Six people have been convicted for offences under the Infectious Diseases Act since 2019, said the ministry. 

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