Anonymous HIV Screening
Since 2006, Dr. Health has been an approved clinic for Anonymous HIV Tests by the Ministry of Health.
HIV anonymous testing encourage patients to come forward more willingly to get an early diagnosis of HIV infection, or to exclude it when they have been exposed to the possibility of contracting HIV. Circumstances which cause them to worry about HIV infection are usually due to sexual relations with someone they do not know very well , new relationships, starting a family, one night stands or when they have visited commercial sex workers. Anonymous testing removes the fear and stigma that comes with formal (name and Identification number) tests.
Formal blood tests for HIV, though more accurate, require patients to register their name and identification number with the clinic . They are worried that should they test positive for HIV, the government and their employer would know about it. For some expatriates, they are worried that their employment pass may be revoked should the Ministry of Health gets notified of their positive HIV status. Doing an anonymous test would give them more preparation time should they test positive and it would also spare them the agony of waiting a few days before the test result becomes available. The anonymous test is rapid and will take only about 20 minutes for the result to be known.
What is the procedure of an anonymous test at Dr. Health?
- Upon entering the clinic, let our clinic staff know that you would like to do HIV anonymous test.
- The doctor will ask you some questions to obtain demographic data for the Ministry of Health like age, gender, nationality, ethnic group, marital status, whether patient is on employment pass, short term visitor, or a permanent resident, sexual orientation, whether previous anonymous tests have been done before. All these questions are purely for research and patient anonymity and confidentiality are strictly observed. No names or identification are required for the anonymous test.
- The doctor will give you a serial number and you will wait for about 20 minutes before the result is revealed to you by the doctor.
- Pre- and post-test counselling will be provided to all persons who undergo anonymous HIV testing. The person will also be given information on the "window period" for HIV infection.
- After 20 minutes, you will be asked to enter the doctor's room again for the test result.
- Based on the result, the doctor will provide the necessary counselling. For a positive result, the doctor will offer a confirmatory Western Blot blood test as there are instances when rapid anonymous HIV tests may turn up false positive.The HIV positive patient will be referred to the Communicable Disease Centre for commencement of retroviral medication and further treatment. These are not compulsory but medical help and advice are available for patients who need them.
- Patients with negative result will be offered medical advice on disease prevention, safe practice and precautionary measures. Further testing for other STDs will be offered as the anonymous test only include HIV testing but not on other types of STD, and advice on window period and need for repetition of HIV testing will also be given. PEP (Post-exposure prophylaxis) will also be available should the patient found to be exposed to HIV-positive individuals within 72 hours.