Health authorities warn Singapore could face an alarming AIDS epidemic and say gay men are primary contributors to the country’s increasing HIV infection rates.

Senior Minister of State for Health Balaji Sadasivan named gay men’s unsafe sexual practices the biggest cause of concern in a recent speech to Singapore doctors.

Dr Balaji warned the number of new cases of HIV/AIDS had doubled every three to four years.

From 64 new cases in 1993, the government expects more than 300 new cases this year and more than 1,000 in 2010.

In his speech, Dr Balaji said Singapore was fortunate HIV had not entered the general population in a big way, with the disease generally limited to two distinct groups of men that needed attention: gay men and heterosexual men who have casual sex in other countries.

Of the two, the gays are the bigger concern, he said.

CDC [Communicable Disease Centre] believes that there is a real explosion of the disease among gays, Dr Balaji said. This recent explosion of cases is due to the promiscuous and unsafe lifestyle advocated and practised by some gays.

Dr Balaji criticised Action for Aids (AfA), a non-government organisation providing AIDS prevention education in Singapore, for not doing enough to promote safe sex. He highlighted a statement on its website which claimed not everyone who has sex with an infected person will get infected.

While he admitted the statement was true, Dr Balaji said it was misleading and promoted the spread of HIV by giving assurance when alarm would be more appropriate.

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