Dr. Tan and Partners is one of the few approved Anonymous HIV Testing Centres in Singapore. A detailed write up on our service is available here.

Other STD services: Early STD Screening, Rapid Hepatitis B Blood Test, Swab for Gonorrhea and many more... contact us to make an appointment now!

HIV Laws in Singapore – Disclosure and Immigration

Many people are still concerned about the laws in Singapore with regards to HIV.

Click here for info on How to visit Singapore if you are HIV +ve.

Laws pertaining to HIV are governed under The Infectious Diseases Act (IDA) which has been amended multiple times since HIV was discovered.

The spirit of this law is really 2 pronged:

  1. To protect public health
  2. To protect the identify of people living with HIV

Yes, Number 2 is hard to believe especially in Singapore but it is true.

Let us look at this is more detail.

1.       To protect public health

Law: The IDA requires a person living with HIV to undergo counselling and comply with specified precautions and safety measures.

Comment: Honestly, this is really fair enough don’t you think? There are so many misconceptions and so much misunderstanding about HIV out there that people who are diagnosed with it really should understand the facts and myths.

Law: The IDA makes it an offence for a person living with HIV to have sexual intercourse without informing and obtaining consent from the partner.

Comment: Everyone has to agree that this is fair.

Law: The IDA requires that a person who has reason to believe that he/she has, or has been exposed to a significant risk of contracting HIV to take reasonable precautions to protect their sexual partner even is he/she is ignorant of their HIV positive status.

Comment: In other words, if a person engages a sex worker and unknowingly passes HIV to his/her partner, the law deems this an offence. Because the person should logically know that engaging a sex worker puts him/her at risk of HIV.  In short, ignorance is not an excuse.

Law: The IDA makes it an offence to donate blood or to do any act which can spread AIDS or HIV to another person.

Comment: Before you donate blood in Singapore you have to fill up a questionnaire. It is an offence under the law to lie in this questionnaire. So even if a person is ignorant of his/her status, forgets to mention a possible exposure in the questionnaire and later on screening his/her donated blood is found to be positive, it is an offence and the person can be charged. Scary huh?

Law: The IDA allows the Director of Medical Services (DMS) to disclose information regarding a person lving with HIV to any medical practitioner, medical staff or any person exposed to a risk of infection from AIDS and HIV.

Comment: This is really to protect medical staff who put themselves at risk in caring for the patients. So the DMS can disclose this information to the relevant parties without the consent of the patient.

2.       To protect the identify of people living with HIV

Law: The IDA specifies the conditions that allow persons, receiving information regarding a person living with HIV in the course of their duties under the Act, to divulge such information.

Comment: In other words, anyone who knows of someone’s HIV positive status can only let someone else know under very specific conditions. Namely, if the person to be informed is at risk of HIV. So if a counsellor knows of patient A’s HIV status, he can tell patient A’s surgeon as the surgeon has a right to know to protect himself. In other words, divulging a person’s HIV positive status without a proper reason specified by the IDA is an offence.

Law: The IDA specifies the conditions that allow medical practitioners to divulge information regarding an infected person living with HIV to persons who are at risk of being infected by the patient.

Comment: So even if a doctor knows a person has HIV, he/she cannot go around telling everyone. He/She however is allowed to let people whom are deemed at risk to know. E.g. spouses, sexual partners, fellow doctors taking care of the patient etc. Telling anyone else is an offence.

Law: The IDA prohibits the recipient of information regarding a person living with HIV to disclose such information unless with the approval of the Director of Medical Services.

Comment: In other words anyone who knows of a person’s HIV status cannot go around babbling it to everyone.

Disclosure laws and Anonymous Testing Centres

Law: The IDA requires every medical practitioner who has reason to believe or suspect that any person attended or treated by him is suffering from an infectious disease or is a carrier of that disease shall notify the Director within the prescribed time and in such form or manner as the Director may require.

Comment: All doctors and lab staff are required to inform the Ministry of a person’s HIV positive status within 72 hours of diagnosis. This is why Anonymous Testing Clinics like ours are so special. There is a filed gazette in the Supreme Court of Singapore that excuses us from this clause of the IDA. So when we say that our testing is anonymous, we really mean that it is anonymous. It is legally air-tight.

Immigration law

(1) Any person, not being a citizen of Singapore, who is a member of any of the prohibited classes as defined in subsection (3) or who, in the opinion of the      Controller, is a member of any of the prohibited classes, is a prohibited immigrant.
(3) The following persons are members of the prohibited classes:

  1. any person who is unable to show that he has the means of supporting himself and his dependants (if any) or that he has definite employment awaiting him, or who is likely to become a pauper or a charge on the public;
  2. any person suffering from mental disorder or being a mental defective, or suffering from a contagious or infectious disease which makes his presence in Singapore dangerous to the community;
  3.  any person suffering from Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus;

Comment: There is no need for HIV testing for person coming into Singapore on a social visit pass and can stay up to 30 days.

Any person applying for a work pass, long term visit pass, employment pass or permanent residence is required to undergo HIV testing.

Any person who is found to be HIV positive will be deported immediately. (In practice they are given 2 weeks which kinda equates to immediately).

Once a person is known HIV positive and captured in the immigration’s database, they will be denied entry into Singapore except for medical treatment. In such a case, he/she will have to fill a prescribed form signed and endorsed by his doctor in Singapore, seek approval from Immigration Authorities and will be allowed to stay no more than 3 days.

How to get into Singapore to see a Doctor if you are HIV +ve

The Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection (Non-AIDS) are classified as contagious diseases under the Infectious Diseases Act (Chapter 137). Foreigners suffering from AIDS or infected with HIV are ineligible for the issue of a Visit Pass. If they wish to visit Singapore, they may seek prior approval through ICA before their intended travel. An appeal for entry may be submitted through a local sponsor at the Visitor Services Centre, 4th Storey, ICA Building, 10 Kallang Road, Singapore 208718 for ICA’s consideration. The local sponsor may also mail the duly completed application forms, along with the relevant supporting documents (e.g. Doctor’s letter about medical condition, purpose of visiting Singapore etc), addressed to: Director Visitor Services Centre Appeals Unit ICA Building, 10 Kallang Road #08-00 Singapore 208718 The following documents are required for the application: a) Application Form 14 & V39I (duly completed & signed); (Available for download at http://www.ica.gov.sg/e_services_overview.aspx?pageid=290 ) b) Photocopies of applicant’s passport pages showing the bio date page and signature of the passport holder; c) Local sponsor’s Singapore Identity Card (I/C); and d) Notice of refusal, if any. Note: Local sponsor can be an individual Singapore Citizen/Permanent Resident (SC/PR) aged 21 and above or a Singapore-registered company. Please state clearly the reason(s) or purpose for the applicant’s entry and intended duration of visit on Application Form 14. The applicant may also include any other supporting documents that he/she deems relevant to substantiate his/her application. Thereafter, his/her local sponsor will be notified by post on the outcome.

OK so that’s it. I don’t know if this makes you more or less worried but facts are facts.

To end off, I would like to share with you an article on AsiaOne. Such a sad story.

 

advise

 


Need more advice?

Come down to Our Clinics for a discussion with Our Doctors, or call our clinics for more information:

1.) Robertson Walk (Anonymous HIV Clinic)  (+65 6238 7810)

2.) Bencoolen Street (+65 6884 4119)

3.) Novena Medical Centre (+65 6397 2095)

4.) Raffles Place – PLUS (+65 6962 7144)

5.) Somerset – Orchard Building (+65 6262 0762)

 

Where to find us – here

Selected clinics are open on Saturday and Sunday.

Email: hello@dtapclinic.com

 

For lady patients who prefer female doctors, we have professional certified female Doctors to attend to your medical needs.

 


If you had a high risk exposure to HIV within the past 72 hours, you can take medicines to reduce your risk of actually contracting HIV. Find out more on HIV PEP Treatment.

HIV Prevention within 72 hours of exposure (PEP) – Click Here
Click Here for Contact Details, Address and Opening Times.

We are Open on Weekends.

Our Andrology and Infection Centre at Novena Medical Center is open.

Call us at 63972095 now to book your appointment.

 

About Dr. Tan
Dr. Tan graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2001. His residency was in the two largest public hospitals in Singapore; Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Singapore General Hospital.

Find the profiles of our panel of doctors.

258 Comments

  1. Hi, Dr. Tan!
    If currently I’m Singapore PR,but I just get know that I have HIV
    What is the action of Singapore?
    Is it my status will be discarded?

    • Dr Justin Sim

      If you were tested anonymously then you can still maintain PR status but you have to seek treatment overseas. If the test was not anonymous then you will be reported to the government who will revoke your PR status and ask you to leave the country.

  2. Dear Dr Tan,

    If someone demands that i go for a HIV test,is that their legal rights?

    Thank you,
    Daysri.

    • It depends on what you mean by someone. If it is your friends or family, of course not. If it is ICA, for work permit or other purposes, then yes you need to comply to it.

  3. Hi Dr.Someone told that there’s a revised rules in Singapore that people living with HIV from other country can now possible work in Singapore. Is it true or hoax?thank you sir for the time.

    • Dr Justin Sim

      Your thoughts are only partially true. The rules have been revised to allow HIV positive people to visit Singapore (previously even tourists and visitors were denied entry). However, working in Singapore or becoming a citizen if you are known to be HIV positive is still impossible as it stands.

      • is there a chance in near future that people living with HIV from other countries can work in Singapore? Why not given the chance for us to work in Singapore?

        • Dr Justin Sim

          At this stage this is a question only the government can answer. Until they change their views things will stay as they are. Essentially it stems from wanting to ‘protect’ citizens from extra risks.

          • thank you sir for answering.btw. can u tell me what countries accepts PLHIV to work? thank u again.

  4. Hello Dr. Tan,

    I am a foreigner diagnosed to be HIV positive in Singapore in 2011 as part of my pre-employment process. The employment didnt push through and I went back to my home country to continue my treatment.

    I’ve been working for 4 years since my diagnosis and my work requires me to visit Singapore from time to time.

    It said on your article that ban for HIV positive individuals has been lifted since 1 April 2015 so anyone even HIV positive individuals visiting singapore will no longer be denied entry? Is this correct?

    • Dr Justin Sim

      Yes that is correct, no visas or special permits are required to enter Singapore. However, standard restrictions still apply; for example if you needed a visa anyway from your country of origin then this still applies. The other point is that there are no changes to the law with regards to work permits, PR or citizenship; if you are HIV positive you cannot apply for these.

  5. Would you advise a HIV positive person to terminate his existing insurance policies, since most of them will not pay out if illness are related to HIV? Are there any options that a HIV positive person can look for in terms of securing finances for the possibility of high medical expenditure in future?

  6. James Iskandar

    Dear Dr Tan,

    greetings!

    I don’t know if you could answer my question or not but if able that would be much appreciate.

    I was diagnose with Hiv Poz for the past 2 years with CD4: 1123 and Undetectable VL for one year and 6 months.

    For your information, Im Malaysian and receiving all of my HIV treatment and HAART medication supply directly under Ministry of health here in Malaysia.

    Recently, I met a girl and she knew about my status. We did plan for marriage and she willing to accept my status. We already discuss about what is the outcomes if we proceed with this marriage.

    however, upon reading a lot of articles trough internet, I notice that there is HIV Law applied for foreigner in Singapore.

    My question:

    1. is there any obstacle or any related things happened if I would like to register my married in Singapore?
    2. is it possible if you could advise me further, how to register my married in Singapore.
    3. is it possible if I would like to apply for PR in Singapore after my marriage?

    awaiting for your reply,

    thanks James Iskandar.

    • For information on registration of marriage, it is best to contact Registry of Marriages directly. https://www.rom.gov.sg/
      Application of PR requires an HIV test. In your case, I do not think your application will be approved. However, it is best to check with ICA regarding this.

      • James Iskandar

        Hi Dr Tan,

        Greetings!

        Thanks for your reply,

        referring to our discussion above, would you mind to explain is there any chance for us to have a baby together without transmitting HIV to my future wife and the new born based on my current HIV result and status.

        thank you.

        • If you have been on appropriate treatment and your Viral load remains undetectable, there is a good chance that you won’t transmit HIV to your future wife. If your wife does not have it, your baby will not have it too. I suggest you and your partner speak to your HIV doctor for proper counselling before marriage and family planning.

  7. Hi Dr Tan,
    i want to discuss with you,my wife is from China and currently is applying Long Term visit pass so she went to do a medical checkup for HIV first time and is positive. One and half months later she did another HIV test at China and is negative.Is there a possible? Can she apply the LTVP again? Can u advise me thanks

    • I would suggest you get a repeated HIV test done, or a confirmatory HIV test done. Otherwise , it is impossible to answer this question.

  8. Janson

    May I know if it is necessary to disclose your HIV status if you were getting a new tattoo or doing an eyebrow embroidery?

  9. Yonipako

    Hi Doctors,

    I have an enquiry and hope you’ll be able to give your insights about my case. I’ve participated to some of the clinical trials here in Singapore since 2010. Screenings are really tight and i always fall under healthy volunteer category.
    Last 2013, there was a screening which i went that includes taking a QTF Gold (TB Screening) i ended positive on the exam and was not admitted for that study. They gave me a referral letter to see a doctor for further advise. I came from the Philippines where TB still exist. But never did i experience having one. I came to work to SG since 2008. I never see a doctor with their referral afraid that i will be declared as a TB patient and have my work pass revoke by once i see a doctor and have it reported/update on a national health system.

    Does the result can end up revoking my work pass? Or should i just take a medical treatment backhome and let it be cleared?

    Since that time until now, i didnt have any symtopms of TB (or at least the way i know of)

    Please help.

    Thank you very much.

    • Dr Justin Sim

      Okay this is what I understand from the MOM and MOH. If you were negative for TB when you first entered Singapore with a work pass but subsequently got TB while working in Singapore you will not necessarily have your work pass revoked. Firstly a confirmed diagnosis is needed, then you will need to be seen in the TBCU (Tuberculosis control unit) at Tan Tock Seng hospital. They will then oversee your treatment and will confirm completion of treatment in time. If this is done correctly then your work pass should not be affected as you will have a certificate from TBCU saying your are now fully treated. If the treatment happens to be overlapping with the time you need to renew your work pass then extensions can be given on a case by case basis.

      Either way, you may need to speak to MOM directly about this and I wouldn’t delay getting treatment as it can worsen and be more problematic if left untreated.

  10. Hi DR TAN, hope you will give me pieces of advices.

    recently I planned to apply for PR, I am holding working pass and already working in Singapore for 6 months.

    For your information, I had unprotected (without condom)sex in June 2014, and also protected sex (with condom) in both August 2014 and early November 2014.

    But then, I actually received a job offer and work in Singapore. So I had went for both TB and HIV test in SATA jurong east on 17 December 2014. After 3 days, my reports show I am NEGATIVE on both TB and HIV.

    The main concern that I worry now is I was had sex in early november with condom, and I have never have any sex activities during these 7 months since december 2014 to current, except of course masturbation. Should I need to do the HIV test again? since I had done at SATA last year, I guess SATA HIV test included western blog test.

    I am worry that I will be MOH and MOM will kick me out from Singapore if I go for HIV test and it comes out with positive results.

    Or I shall pay visit to any anonymous HIV tests clinic and only plan if I am HIV positive.

    Hope you will advices me. Thank you for read my long story.

  11. Hi DR TAN, hope you will give me pieces of advices.

    recently I planned to apply for PR, I am holding working pass and already working in Singapore for 6 months.

    For your information, I had unprotected (without condom)sex in June 2014, and also protected sex (with condom) in both August 2014 and early November 2014.

    But then, I actually received a job offer and work in Singapore. So I had went for both TB and HIV test in SATA jurong east on 17 December 2014. After 3 days, my reports show I am NEGATIVE on both TB and HIV.

    The main concern that I worry now is I was had sex in early november with condom, and I have never have any sex activities during these 7 months since december 2014 to current, except of course masturbation. Should I need to do the HIV test again? since I had done at SATA last year, I guess SATA HIV test included western blog test.

    I am worry that I will be MOH and MOM will kick me out from Singapore if I go for HIV test and it comes out with postive results.

    Or I shall pay visit to any anonymous HIV tests clinic and only plan if I am HIV positive.

    Hope you will advices me. Thank you for read my long story.

    • Anonymous HIV test will remain anonymous. It will not be report to MOH because we do not have your details. I would suggest you get an anonymous HIV test done first before your PR application so you can decide and plan ahead.
      HIV test is part of PR application requirement and that cannot be anonymous. They will give you a form to bring to a doctor to certify your HIV status. Once you are HIV positive, your HIV antibody will remain positive, meaning you will have problems applying for work permit or PR.
      Our branch at Robertson walk offers anonymous HIV test.

  12. hi doctor. i am holding a working permit and work in singapore since january 2015. I was actually suspected myself might expose to HIV because I had sex once in june 2014 (without condom) and august 2014 (with condom) and early november 2014(with condom).

    however, i was received a job offer in december 2014. That time i was so scared and worry i might get HIV positive…

    but fortunately, during 17 december of 2015, i went for TB test and HIV test at SATA jurong east..and the report come out after three days…my report shows that i am HIV and TB negative… hence, i am able to get my working pass and work already six month in singapore.

    Recently i am planning to apply permanent resident in singapore.
    But I would like to seek your advice that do I need to do HIV test again to confirm myself is not HIV positive anymonous before i do application. For your information, during these 7 months I have never do any sex activities, except of course masturbation.

    Let say If I go do HIV test anymonous, if result is positive will it reported to MOH and MOM and I will loss my job? I just started working here t.t.

    Hope you will give me piece of advices. Thank you.

    • In order for MOM to process your PR application, they will need you to do a HIV test and that cannot be an anonymous one. However, if you wish to know your status before proceeding with application, you can head down to our Robertson branch to do an anonymous HIV test first. Your name or details will not be registered for anonymous HIV test. Therefore, if your test turns out to be reactive (positive), it will remain anonymous, meaning it will not be reported to MOH. However, it will definitely affect your application for work permit or PR next time because your HIV antibody will remain positive.

  13. mukesh

    Dear sir;

    I am from india need to work in software company in singapore , but if i having HIV its possible .

  14. hi dr tan!
    if a clinic draws blood for testing of hep B during a medical examination for admission to university , will they check for hiv even though they say blood drawn is obly for testing foe hep b? and can a university deny admission to local students should they have hiv? thx!

    • Dr Justin Sim

      If they are checking for HIV they are duty bound to inform you that they are doing so. They will not covertly test your blood without your consent. I also do not believe that local students will be banned if HIV positive but I am not certain – this is better checked with the uni itself.

  15. callishan

    I had a history of ptb. I am cleared by the pulmonologist. I had a lung scar as shown in my latest xray. I am aware that people like me are banned in the mid east. Would that apply in Singapore?

    • Dr Justin Sim

      If you are visiting Singapore then old, treated PTB is not an issue. However, if there is any evidence of new active disease then there might be an issue. Working in Singapore is another issue because you would need a new chest xray for working permits – if scarring is seen they would investigate further to see if this is active disease.

  16. Myadine

    If someone from the civil service is diagnosed to be HIV positive will the information be given to the relevant ministry (e.g. MOE, MOM, stat board, etc) and will their service be terminated for it? Also will it affect the possibility of people getting employed in the civil service?

    • It depends on whether this HIV test is an anonymous one or not. If it is anonymous, a positive result will not be reported to anyone. If it is not anonymous, we are obliged to report positive results to MOH, and subsequently MOM will be informed as well. If one is not a Singapore citizen or permanent resident, he/she will not be able to work in Singapore anymore. If one is a Singapore citizen or permanent resident, the employment should not be affected, unless he/she is a health care professional

  17. racle

    Hi Dr. Tan., is There a chance that PTB or any lung infection that cannot be detected on X-ray ?
    Because I just recently went for X-ray and Hiv Test and the result is all negative .. But I feel that my upper back is aching inside ., I got history of PTB before around 6-7 years ago .,

    • Dr Justin Sim

      Usually with active TB there would have to be lung changes on XRAY to confirm it. If you happened to show clinical symptoms like cough and phlegm then sending a sample to the lab can also help confirm the presence of PTB. Old PTB can show as scarring in the lungs on XRAY but if you were treated early and properly there may be no signs as the lungs can heal completely. Back ache is not a specific sign of PTB and is more likely due to something else like muscle pain. But if you want your symptoms investigated then you should see a doctor.

      • Racle

        Thank you so much Dr.Justin for a very detailed response ., God bless you .,

  18. Dr tan, if let say i get HIV treatment from u, usually how long does the Viral load will be undetectable? is undetectable safe for employment if i am a foreigner? i got my s-pass but it was being cancelled due to hiv positive. my cd4 is still very good. it is 750 and vL is 19400.

    • Dr Tan, can you help me on this? vl 19400 is it high? how long does it take to make it undetectable?

    • Dr Justin Sim

      This can vary as everyone responds to the treatment differently so it would be impossible to put a number for you. Even if you are undetectable with viral load – your antibodies will still be positive and this alone will ban you from working within Singapore (as a foreigner). Once you are positive, that’s it, you will not be able to work in Singapore again. You can still enter as a tourist or even to seek treatment but you will not be able to work here. VL and CD4 counts give us a good indicator but it is the trend they follow that is more important rather than the absolute number (unless of course it is at the extremes of the range).

      • drtan

        Dr Justin is absolutely right. VL of 19,400 is not very high. I have seen much higher. My record is bringing a VL of more than 100,000 to undetectable in less than 1 month.

  19. kisshgs

    hi doc…

    If a peraon is found to have sphyllis and is treated also with pencilline . So what are the rules for it. Is that person also deported ? and during pass conversion/renewal how to prove it is already treated sphyllis.

    • drtan

      I do not know what the official rules are. You should check with MOM. Personally, I have seen people with treated Syphilis and not deported. Also people who are newly diagnosed with Syphilis who are just asked to go for treatment and also not deported. That is just my experience. You should check with MOM their official stand.

      • Blessed

        Hi Dr. Tan., good day., just want to ask what if I’m currently working here at Singapore with a valid employment pass ., I went to a doctor to take mc due to Cough and take X-ray Test ,, the relish show that have active TB ., am I able to continue working here while under medication or am I not .,? Thanks Dr. Tan

        • drtan

          Good question. I do not know. You have to check with MOM. I have seen patients diagnosed with active PTB and they are just asked to get treatment and not booted out of the country. Officially however, they CAN boot you out for active PTB. I think it is considered on a case-by-case basis. Your doctor is obliged to inform MOH of your PTB. What steps they take from there I cannot be absolutely sure.

          • Blessed

            Hi Dr. Tan., you are a very good person., thanks for answering all our queries even sometimes it’s not really on your job scope ,
            One more question ., year 2007 I have detected with PTB on my upper left part of the lungs ., is it possible to comeback again .? And on both sides koz I kinda feel that my back is hurting on upper part of my lungs left and right ., thanks so much and may God bless you more with miraculous hands .,

  20. I understand that hiv positive patients are denied entry into Singapore if his/her name is recorded in the immigration system. But are transits at changi airport allowed, entroute to another country (without clearing customs)?

      • Thank you, Dr Sii. I have one last question. I’m a Bruneian national but my blood test results got sent to Singapore for HIV confirmatory testing (because Brunei does not have the facility to test yet). My results came in from Singapore three months ago, testing positive for HIV. Is there anyway I can check if my name has been sent to the Singapore immigration authorities? I’m tempted to book a return flight from Brunei to Singapore over one weekend to “test” whether I can enter Singapore. What do you think, Dr? Am I naive to think I can get away with it, and how else can I check?!

        • Apologies but can I get feedback to my last question above? Thank you.

        • drtan

          You can always contact ICA to ask. But you will be glad to know even if your name has been submitted to Immigration, it will no longer affect your entry into Singapore. As of 1st April 2015, HIV +ve individuals are no longer banned from entering Singapore. My HIV +ve patients who see me for HIV treatment have been getting through customs with no problems at all. You are allowed to enter Singapore on a tourist visa. The only difference is you will not be allowed to work here or become a PR or citizen.

          • Oh my goodness, thanks for the good news. That is indeed a huge milestone for Singapore. Thank you so much!

  21. My friend who is hiv+ needs to undergo surgery for a fracture in singapore. His viral load is undetectable as he has been on treatment overseas. Is he required to disclose his hiv status to his orthopaedic surgeon?

    • Surgical procedure posts a risk of transmission to the health care personnel. Therefore, he should disclose his HIV status to the surgeon.

  22. Mystified

    Disclosure laws and Anonymous Testing Centres

    ……

    ‘This is why Anonymous Testing Clinics like ours are so special. There is a filed gazette in the Supreme Court of Singapore that excuses us from this clause of the IDA. So when we say that our testing is anonymous, we really mean that it is anonymous. It is legally air-tight.’

    Does that mean someone who has a positive test and then a positive western blot/ other confirmatory test does not have to be reported to the authorities?

    Is it the onus of the attending ID physician who commences treatment on the then anonymously tested patient to report his HIV status ?

    Does it also mean that the patient will continue to remain an anonymous person who is not subject to the requirements laid out by the IDA should he choose to not get treatment?

    • Yes that is absolutely right. A person who gets tested at an anonymous testing center like ours will not be reported to MOH even if the screening test AND the Western Blot tests are positive. In fact, we do not even take their personal details to begin with.

      You are also right to point out that treatment of HIV in Singapore CANNOT be anonymous. So the treating physician HAS to report the patient to MOH.

      Again you are right. That is why many Singaporeans choose to get treatment in Thailand and maintain their anonymous status.

  23. Hi Dr Tan,

    My question is if i have STD and I already got the treatment , so would I be able to continue to renew my work permit continue to working here and do I need to inform the doctor upon medical check up ? Or I need to inform any relevant MOM?

    • Dr Justin Sim

      This depends on the STD. Certain work permit renewals will ask for certain tests like HIV and syphilis. So even if you have had treatment before they will still require a new test sample. Other STDs are not routinely checked and if your employer does not require you to be checked you do not need to divulge this information to them.

  24. im a hiv person.now i cont enter in to singapore to visit medical check up and for my personal shoping.my family dont no i have this hiv.wean they go in to singapore ask me to join but i cant because singapore immigration didint let me go insad to singapore.wath i wanth to do to enter in singapore.pls help me

    • Dr Justin Sim

      Does the Singapore government know about your status? Is it formally known? Otherwise if the government do not know then you should be able to enter Singapore on a tourist visa without needing to disclose your status. If you are planning to live and work here then it is a different issue because the government will insist on screening first.

      • On this website I read that the ban on hiv+ individual has been lifted starting 1st April 2015 and people can visit as a tourist (30days visa)?

  25. Dr Tan,

    Last year July I suffered with TB. I just complete my medication on Feb 2015 and now i’m perfectly alright and cured.I want to work in Singapore based on work permit.But last week i went to regular check up and my scares of PTB treatment still present. My doctor advise even i complete my medication the scar will take some time to disappear. Is it possible due to this my work permit will reject? please guide me.. I have the all medical document and x-ray report that took on my past eight month of medication. I also have a certificate by doctor that mention i fit to work and there is no more active PTB. I isolated for 2 months in private hospital when i undergoing the PTB treatment due to prevent the spread of TB to others. Another 6 month treatment i was taken from home. Every 1 month once i went to hospital to take blood test and x-ray to check my progress. This is the way i complete my medication. I just worried i cannot get the work permit because singapore law is very strict. Please advise me on this issue.

    • That is a very good question. Unfortunately, I am not the best person to answer it. You should check with MOM. As far as I know, treated PTB is NOT a problem for getting the Singapore Work Permit. Since your Chest X-Ray will likely show some scarring, it would be best for you to bring all your reports from your Doctors back home. This can help prove that the PTB has been cured. You will likely need to see a doctor here in Singapore to prove this.

  26. Hi Dr,
    Why hiv test is not happening for all people staying in singapore? Only for people with certain work permit ?

    The law should be same for all.

    • Dr Justin Sim

      Unfortunately that I cannot answer that fully for you. Some employers request the test and some don’t. However, usually the Ministry of Manpower will ask for an HIV test upon first application of any work permit/PR application. After that then they may not need further checking.

      • Thx Dr.
        If the test is not for all then how does the hiv test help public health because in country there must be so many people living with hiv and they are not aware of that. And it must be spreading to other local people and foreigners. I found only foreigners are deported immideately when they detected as hiv positive. It wont public health nowhere because the country is still keeping people with hiv positive. People with business visa dont require hiv test. Sorry to ask the question to you but dont understand the law for hiv people in singapore on the name of protecting public health when call girls / hiv people are still living in the country . And such discrimination is still there in a developed country to deport people immideatley.

        • Dr Justin Sim

          As I mentioned all people applying for a work permit must have an HIV test – this is the MOM doing their part to ensure public safety. If specific employers don’t check afterwards then that is up to them – I guess they have no need to be concerned over public safety. Also do bear in mind that HIV is not an easy disease to pass on – yes it is the most serious but by no means the easiest. It is also not particularly prevalent in Singapore (in comparison to other nearby countries).

          Of course only foreigners will be deported, where would the government send Singaporean citizens? They can’t just kick them out of the country – they will have no other country to return to and will be stateless. The government has an obligation to protect it’s own citizens, it doesn’t have the same obligation to foreign workers. So this is why they screen new workers for HIV and end up deporting foreigners if they turn out to be positive to help protect the citizens. There are legalised sex workers here in Singapore but they need monthly screening to help reduce the risk of transfer. I hope this helps clear things up.

    • chitra

      Last year july I suffered with TB.I complete my medication on feb 2015 and now I’m perfectly alright and cured.I wan to work in Singapore based on work permit.Last week i went to regular check up and the scares of PTB treatment still present.My doctor say even i complete the treatment the scar will take some time to disappear. Is it possible due to this my work permit will reject?please guide me….I have the all medical document and x-ray result was taken the past eight month of treatment. I also have a certificate by the doctor that mention i fit to work and i no more have active PTB so its wont spreads to others.

      • Dr Justin Sim

        If you apply to work in Singapore the they will require a mandatory chest xray to look for active TB, however, an old scar on the xray can be difficult to see as active or treated. In this case the government may choose not to grant the work permit. But since you have all your supporting documents you should submit that as well for review showing that you have completed treatment – this may give you a better chance of getting the permit.

  27. reggie koh

    Dr. I wish to report on illegal prostitution by an immigration offender who has contracted hiv and std. She is prostituting herself openly. I had been to the ica police but inaction as a result. Could you please help me?

  28. Airam Alibo

    Hi Dr. Tan.. i just want to make inquiry.. I was diagnosed to have an active PTB and undergo medication for 3 weeks now.. I dont have any symptoms since then.. During my follow-up check 3 days ago, my medical Result is that I am FIT TO WORK for the specific job and just have to continue my medication. I have all my docs except for my S-Pass ID.. My employer submitted all the required docs for the issuance of S-PASS. I just wanted to know the chances that MOM will grant me this S-PASS? Any idea? Thanks.

    • Sure they will. PTB is not an automatic exclusion criteria especially since you are undergoing treatment.

  29. I am foreigner and currently under investigation due to some legal case. If I am found hiv positive will I get deported immediately like other foreigner?

    • Ummm…. I don’t know honestly. What I understand from you is this: Mr X commits a crime in Singapore and is under investigation. During which time, Mr X’s passport is impounded. Mr X is then diagnosed with HIV. So which law takes precedence? My guess is Mr X will be kept in Singapore until the criminal case is complete. By I stress that that is just my guess. It would be better for a lawyer to answer this.

  30. Dear Dr,

    Thank you for the wonderful thread, I would just like to check if the person who is renewing EP and the Hospital who did the test will inform MOM and expatriate the person immediately or will they inform the patient first as soon as they get the information or will they wait until the day of the result is supposed to be given?

    I am currently renewing my EP and had my HIV test last Thursday and going to have my HIV test results tomorrow (hope I’m negative) and I had not been contacted yet by the Hospital, as I had unprotected sex 6 months ago and I am afraid of the results.

    Thank you.

    • The hospital will definitely contact the patient and inform him/her of the result regardless of the outcome. They will also inform MOM and ICA at the same time.

  31. Dear Dr. Tan,

    I wonder if HIV Test will, too, detect Syphilis during one’s testing for his work pass renewal. Are there different HIV Tests requested to be done by MOM towards EP and S-Pass holders?

    Thanks,
    Ben

    • LOL. I should be directing all these questions to MOM! HIV test and Syphilis test are 2 separate tests. MOM sometimes asks for 1 sometimes for both. I really do not know what their criteria are. MOM accepts all kinds of HIV testing including lab based tests and rapid tests.

      • Thank you for your response and time! Well, obviously all these showed that you’ve been doing a better job than MOM 🙂

  32. Dear Dr Tan.

    If I understood correctly, a person that is HIV positive cannot work in the healthcare industry. What about the childcare services? Any laws or policies governing that?

    Thanks.

    Jessica

    • That is a fantastic question. First I would like to clarify your point. When you say “cannot work in the healthcare industry” you a referring to frontline medical staff. Secondly, I have written to the PSC and they have assured me that there is no discrimination against HIV +ve people working in government as long as the specific role does not require a HIV -ve person. They could not give me anymore details on these roles and said each decision is made on a case by case basis which I think is very fair. As far as childcare services goes, I am not aware of any law or policy restricting HIV +ve people from being employed. Going by what we scientifically know: which is HIV cannot spread via casual contact, logically there is no reason to not employ HIV +ve people for these roles.

      • can hepatitis patient work in singapore

        • Good question. I think so. That is because from the work permit and employment pass examinations that I have done, I have not come across any request from MOM to test for Hepatitis. That said, the best people to ask this question and who can give you a definitive answer is still MOM (Ministry of Manpower).

  33. My brother found out that he is HIV positive while in Singapore a few months ago. My brother’s company flies his crew threw Singapore and usually only stay one night in a hotel before getting to their connecting flight. Will he be unable to enter Singapore for any reason such as a connecting flight or an over night layover? Thank you for your help.

    • If your brother tested at a non-anonymous testing center, his details will already have been captured by the Immigration Authority. He will be barred from entering Singapore regardless of the length of stay or the reason.

  34. Good Day Dr.

    My question : If one is being tested positive for STD (excluding HIV), will it be reported to the authority?

    What is the rationale behind registering before getting STD test? If the answer to the previous question is yes, will any of the STD (excluding HIV) affect one’s chance of getting PR or renewing working pass?

    Thanks for your time Dr.

    • 1. It depends. If the testing is done for Work Pass, PR or any government required document then yes of course. If not, the Ministry only wants statistical information. 2. You have to ask the Ministry of Health that. As a rule, all patients who see doctors in Singapore are registered. Perhaps for legal reasons. So being able to do an anonymous HIV test is an exception to the rule. So the question is not ‘why should people getting STD tests be registered?’ The question should be ‘why shouldn’t people getting STD tests be registered?’ Since they are no different from any other patient. STDs will not affect PR status and application. As for work pass, it depends on what type of work pass.

      • Thanks for your reply Dr.Tan

        For the type of work pass, let’s say.. S-pass or employment pass? Does STD result in difficulties in renewing these passes?

        Thanks again for your time.

        • The main reason I’m asking this is because I feel that if I do STD screening just for a peace of mind and in the event that I get positive results, it is reported to the authorities and that subsequently results in difficulties in renewing my s-pass / employment pass.. It feels like i’m digging my own hole and jumping into it.

          • Take it easy man. I have diagnosed all sorts of STDs in people with all sorts of passes and nothing ever happened to them. Really the only one MOM is concerned about is Syphilis in domestic workers. Even so, when domestic workers do get diagnosed with Syphilis, most of the time MOM will allow them to stay in Singapore as long as they seek treatment.

  35. hi doctor,

    I was tested hiv positive when I went for the medical examination for work permit application in Singapore. However, currently I am under medication. I wonder will I be prohibited from entering Singapore in future?

    • Yes you will. Our immigration law does not differentiate between treated and untreated patients. As long as you are HIV +ve, you will be barred from entering Singapore. I hope this law will change in the future. But that is the way things are for now.

      • Wow I didn’t expect Singapore such developed country will imposed such strict law. Hope the authorities will change such law soon as come to think about it HIV is not as dangerous as other diseases such as ebola, SARS, H1N1 and etc. Anyway thank you doctor.

  36. Hi Doctor,

    Is it required to undergo HIV testing again each time i renew my EP?

    Thanks
    Andrew

    • I honestly do not know what MOM’s criteria are. Some people need a HIV test and some do not.

  37. Hi Doctor,
    ICA request me to do a HIV test for my PR application. I done the test in this morning. If the hospital confirmed I am HIV +. Will the hospital report to ICA directly?
    Thanks
    Raymond

    • The hospital will send your blood for confirmation testing. If the confirmatory test is positive, they will inform MOH who will in turn inform ICA and all other relevant authorities. They will of course also inform you.

  38. Hi Doctor,

    I m just got to know that I m HIV +ve when I was imprisoned last month (now I released). Now I m going to start looking for a job, so do I have to declare is e job application form about my HIV status? And if I m applying for an visa to go overseas (ex: India), do I have to declare in the form? Will the MOH disclose about my HIV status to other agency and government by law or other government or agency’s will have access to my HIV status from MOH? Pls let me know doctor.

    Thank you very much!

    • If they ask you have to tell. You should not be lying on your application form. By right they should not even ask because your HIV status should not have an impact on your job application unless the job you are doing requires you to be HIV free eg. healthcare. Again, I am not aware of visa applications requiring you to declare your HIV status. But if they ask then you must tell. Most countries these days have no travel restriction for HIV +ve people. Singapore is an exception. MOH will not disclose your status to anyone unnecessarily. In fact, it is against the law for anyone who knows of your status to tell anyone else unless there is a need to know. I have checked with the PSD and they have assured me that being HIV +ve does not affect a person’s career in the public service.

  39. Hi Doctor.

    I am HIV + and have been on very long medical leave on treatment for this. I am now ready to go back to work but my company is asking for a medical report from my doctor on my status. They do not know my status. If i do refuse to let my doctor provide a medical report saying that I am positive, what can my company do? Can they terminate me?

    • I really cannot comment on that. It is up to your company. According to TAFEP guidelines companies should ‘Recruit and select employees on the basis of merit (such as skills, experience or ability to perform the job), and regardless of age, race, gender, religion, family status or disability.’ I have corresponded with the PSD of Singapore and they assured me that HIV is not a factor in hiring and job placement within the public service unless the job specifically requires a person to be HIV -ve (eg doctors). The other issue here is patient confidentiality. Legally, your company has no right to your confidential medical information. Logically, I would think your company just wants to be sure that you are fit for work and not a risk to other employees. Maybe your doctor can write something to that effect without actually stating your HIV status. But it can also be argued that you are withholding crucial information from your company which is not fair for the other staff. I have also seen companies that are very unreasonable when it comes to HIV. Maybe what you can do is try to get an idea of your company’s stance on HIV. For example, is there another staff who is HIV +ve working in the company? Does the company have an LGBT support group? These will give you an idea as to your company’s stance. Just a few suggestions. All the best to you.

  40. Hi DrTan,

    Do pre-employment checkup always include HIV test for Singapore Citizen?

    Regards

    • What is included in a pre-employment check up is determined by the individual companies. So I really would not know. From the pre-employment checks I have done, I have not seen any company ask for a HIV test. Sometimes, the company buys insurance for you and the insurance company requires a HIV test.

  41. Leslie

    Hi Dr Tan,

    I am a Singapore citizen. Would my employer be informed if I am tested HIV positive? What about joining the civil service? Is it possible?

    • Your employer will not be informed unless you are in the healthcare sector. I do not know what the HIV employment policy in the civil service is. But going by the Singapore HIV Laws that I know, I would be very surprised if the civil service discriminates against HIV +ve people. Officially I mean.

  42. Hi Dr Tan,
    I m currently a work permit holder in sg, however, after tested I m a HIV positive recently, I hav resigned from my work as a pet grommer. And my boss will cancel my work permit end of July 2014. I have been hospitalized in CGH for last a week, and will be taking med back in Msia (as it’s cheaper in Msia). However, I have a follow up appointment with CGH regarding my condition on 20/8/14.
    Question is, am I stil able to enter sg for the follow up appt? What I need to do before I come back spore on 20/8/14 for the follow up?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Unfortunately you cannot. Unless you get your doctor at CGH to fill up a special visa request form for you. You stay will then be limited to 3 days and only for seeking treatment in Singapore. Honestly, you should just continue your follow up in Malaysia. You may want to visit the KLASS website for more details about treatment in Malaysia.

  43. Hi,

    Few years back I suffered with TB.now I’m perfectly alright and cured.I wan to work in Singapore based on work permit.i’m eligible for Singapore.some one says if you cured also scares will be present.due to this I will rejecte?please guide me….

    • Hi Ravi,

      You will need to contact the Tuberculosis Control Unit for more information. From what I know, you will need to present a certificate of completion of your treatment, detailing drug regimen used, duration and final chest XRay findings. The XRay taken at the end of your treatment will also be very useful.

      If you cannot successfully demonstrate that you have been treated in such a manner, you may be treated as if you still have TB, meaning you may have to repeat your treatment. So long as you are thought to have active TB, you may not be able to successfully get a work permit.

  44. UNKNOWN

    Doctor,
    I recently find out am affected by HSV 1.. Actually am a foreigner doctor. Am really worried about my renewal. Pls advise sir.

    • HSV does not affect your work pass renewal.

      • Hi Dr,
        I have job offer in singapore. Now i am in my mother country. Recentl i found out that i have hsv 1=3.77, hsv2=1.80 igg and igm. Isit i can get working visa for to enter in singapore for work permit or workpass.
        Please answer me.

        • Yes. Even if you have herpes, it will not affect your working visa application.

          • Ok doctor. so i can enter in sg for work. There is no problem if i have herpes.

            Thanks for ur info. Because i confused so long….
            Thanks dr.

  45. Fraser

    Is it an offence in Singapore for an HIV patient with undetectable viral load to not disclose the HIV status to Surgeons and Dentists? Which part of the Act covers this?

    • drtan

      The law is very grey in this area. It does not specifically state that a person with HIV (regardless of viral load) needs to inform his surgeon or dentist of his diagnosis. However, a separate part of the act says that “Any person who, in the performance or exercise of his functions or duties under this Act, is aware or has reasonable grounds for believing that another person has AIDS or HIV Infection or is suffering from a sexually transmitted disease or is a carrier of that disease shall not disclose any information which may identify the other person except to any medical practitioner or other health staff who is treating or caring for, or counselling, the other person”. So it seems other people can tell your doctor but you don’t have to. As I said, it is very grey.

  46. Xavier

    My wife is a foreigner and we are applying for a Long Term Visit Pass. She is tested +ve for HIV.
    She has this condition for several years now and she is under treatment in her country. Her condition has improved over the years. She is under anti-viral medication and she is leading a normal life except that she has to constantly take her Meds on time.

    After visiting the immigration for the LTVP and showing them the result the immigration has ask us to visit the CDC for a report on her condition. Then after give the immigration test report and they will decide if they should grant my wife LTVP. Is there a possibility that she be grant LTVP?

    • drtan

      I really hope so for your sake but honestly I have seen similar cases before and the LTVP is never granted. Hopefully the CDC will take into consideration new evidence on treatment as prevention and allow her to stay. Please keep us updated on her status. I really hope the CDC will start to soften their stance on this matter.

    • What is the result of the ltvp application?

  47. Hendrick

    Hi Dr Tan,

    If a person is diagnosed with HIV Positive and living with his wife and children, however that person choose not to inform his family of his condition and not engage in any sexual activity with his partner. In such case will he be prosecuted under the law for not disclosure his condition. ?

    • Absolutely not. A HIV +ve person need only tell people whom would be at risk e.g. sexual partners, surgeons, dentists etc

  48. Hi Dr Tan,

    Thanks for the useful information. Just like to double check, how about PRs who have discovered they have HIV? Will they be deported or can they remain in SG like a normal singaporean?

    • That is a very good question. PRs will not be deported. Obviously the PR will also not be renewed. What I am unsure of is whether or not the re-entry permit will be revoked. I have not been able to get a straight answer for this and no one has dared to test this theory.

  49. Great thread, thanks for the information. I am curious about the specifics Item 2 above “suffering from a contagious or infectious disease which makes his presence in Singapore dangerous to the community”. I wonder what diseases that includes.

    Also, is it possible to receive anonymous blood testing for other diseases such as hepatitis or syphilus? Are the reports of these tests also compiled by the ministry? Can they affect work permit renewal?

    • Good question. I think that clause is there for the Ministry to include or exclude whatever diseases they feel like. Currently, to become a Singapore Permanent Resident, you will require a HIV test and a Chest X-Ray for pulmonary TB. So I guess those 2 diseases are included. Domestic workers require a further Syphilis test and pregnancy test. I do not know of any other tests required. Only HIV testing is allowed to be anonymous. I have not heard of hepatitis affecting the work permit. Syphilis as far as I know, only applies to domestic workers.

  50. redrose

    Dear Dr. Tan,

    Very interested to read the laws around HIV in Singapore.

    Does the anonymous testing protect EP holders from being entered into the immigration database? How will it be handled beyond the second confirmation test?

    Thanks,

    Rose

    Once a person is known HIV positive and captured in the immigration’s database, they will be denied entry into Singapore except for medical treatment. In such a case, he/she will have to fill a prescribed form signed and endorsed by his doctor in Singapore, seek approval from Immigration Authorities and will be allowed to stay no more than 3 days.

    • The anonymous test is 100% anonymous. We do not even collect any identifying information. After the confirmation test, if the patient is truly HIV positive, we will counsel him/her about seeking treatment.

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