AfA 2021 Annual Report and Financial Statements
2021 will be remembered for a few significant events.
The first is the continued drop in HIV cases diagnosed in Singapore. This follows the trend that started in 2016. There is no doubt that one of the reasons for the drop is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on decreasing sexual activity domestically as well as when travelling overseas (an absolute decrease), and also the impact of Circuit Breaker and Heightened Alert measures on voluntary testing (an apparent decrease). Now that the COVID-19 pandemic is under control and borders open, we predict that the ‘honeymoon’ period is over and that infection rates will likely increase again. So, as they say, never let a good crisis go to waste; we must seize this opportunity to re-energise our prevention programmes and introduce better and more effective ways of working and improving access to counselling, testing, and prevention. We have learned to increase and expand access to critical populations through social media and electronic communications during COVID. We should build on what we have learned to streamline our programmes. We have had to learn to adjust to new ways of working and review the needs of office space to adjust to new realities in the face of the reduction in programmatic and other funding.