Blogging in Singapore

Lifestyle 15 May 2018 | 0 Comments

Do you have what it takes to become a blogger? Well, that really depends. Now, here’s a couple of questions for you to ask yourself before you become an actual blogger. The first question to ask yourself is why do you want to become a blogger? Knowing your intent for becoming a blogger affects the tone of your blogs. It is very important to know why you want to become a blogger, whether for business or for pleasure. Writing for businesses means that the tone of your blogs should become less personal and more objective and open for criticism instead of having a strong personal remark about whatever matter you are writing about.

The second question to ask yourself is what are you passionate and well-knowledgeable about? Blogging about something you completely do not understand would become a great problem for you later on as people start to not only question your blogs, but experts who know more than you would start correcting you and it would definitely affect you in the long run.

Now, how do you start blogging? Well, the start can be tricky as you are still trying to get into the spotlight. Writing about a popular topic and one is a great way to start. But writing isn’t everything, you also have to market your first article properly. It may cost you a little but the right marketing at the start would definitely help you go a long way. Paying to have your blogs featured is perfectly normal during the start. It might seem like something you would not want to do as you are trying to gather your audience through organic means, this does not always work out the way you want it to during the start.

Blogging is not just about the content, it is also about the branding. Although the topics are very important, your approach towards a certain topic is important as well. Make sure you are able to approach a certain topic with your signature approach which you will later on be known for. Your approach has to be unique because you have to put into mind that there may be a hundred people out there trying to blog about the same topic.

Writing about a popular topic during the start of your blogging career is very important since you still haven’t found your audience. It is a great idea to target certain groups instead of just individuals and try to penetrate their circle. That way, not only will you have your audience but they will also market your work for you.

Blogging may be a hard thing to do, but if you are determined enough to do it, why shouldn’t you?

The Importance of Silence

Health and Wellness 15 May 2018 | 0 Comments

Some of us aren’t used to silence. In fact, some of us dread it. But what’s so scary about silence? Is it the fact that we do not trust ourselves with our thoughts, is it the fact that without words, we aren’t able to connect with the things and people around us? Well, there are a lot of reasons why we aren’t comfortable with silence but what we don’t realize is that silence is actually important.

When was the last time you sat quietly with yourself without feeling even the slight bit uncomfortable? Well, was there ever a time where you were able to remain in silence without feeling uncomfortable? There are only a fortunate few who have actually learned to enjoy and accept silence. This may seem like a ridiculous thought but how on earth can silence be good for you? Well, silence has a lot of ways to remain beautiful but the question is, how are we suppose to be able to appreciate it?

Finding the beauty in silence is like finding the beauty in simplicity, it may be hard to find something so abstract in something so plain but that’s actually the point. You aren’t suppose to be looking for something abstract. In fact, you are suppose to be looking for something else. You see, the less we focus on some of our senses, the stronger our other senses become.

This is what silence has to offer to us. Silence offers us clarity. clarity of not just our thoughts but also other senses.

Silence wants us to listen. But the question is, listen to who? Well, to ourselves. See, most of us spend our time listening to the opinions and thoughts of other people instead of constructing our own ideas, perspectives, and opinions. Knowing yourself is the best asset you will ever be able to acquire. Once you have become familiar to the many different strengths and weaknesses you posses, the easier it is for you to improve yourself.

You see, the more you know yourself, the easier it is for you to be able to build yourself into a stronger individual. Strength comes only when you acknowledge how vulnerable you actually are. Vulnerability and self-awareness, once recognized, will become your assets. If you deny the weaknesses you posses, how will you be able to defend yourself once people target those certain weaknesses?

It’s okay to be silent. It’s okay to sit in silence. But it is not okay if you aren’t able to make the most out of the silence around you. Besides, you are often surrounded with the voices of other people. Maybe it is time to listen to your own voice.

Psychiatric Illnesses Associated with Old Age

General Health 23 April 2018 | 0 Comments

According to the World Health Organization, mental disorders are common among the elderly, accounting for at least 15% of the population. Even if older adults aged 60 and above can still contribute to the society, they are at high risk of developing diseases and might experience various conditions at the same time. They are also reluctant to ask for help especially with the stigma surrounding mental illness.

What are the most common psychiatric disorders of the elderly?

Dementia
Dementia is the umbrella term for the conditions marked by the following symptoms: deterioration in the thinking skills, memory loss, and inability to perform daily activities. WHO estimated that there are 47.5 million people with dementia, most of them coming from middle class and low-income families. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s, which is associated with physiological aging, history of head traumas, history of depression, mental inactivity, and genetic makeup. It’s not uncommon as well for the elderly to experience comorbidity, or the presence of two chronic illnesses at the same time.

Cerebrovascular Diseases
The most common forms are ischemic WMLs (white matter lesions) and stroke which mirror the symptoms of depression. There is a need to distinguish between the two conditions because it’s also common for patients who have had a stroke to also suffer from depression. If not treated properly, it can lead to cognitive impairment. There are also studies that point to the relation of depression and the risk of having a stroke or ischemic WMLs, because depression might affect insulin resistance and platelet activation.

Depression
According to the WHO, the type of depression most commonly experienced by the elderly is unipolar depression, while others suffer from subsyndromal depression or dysthymia. In most cases, it is undiagnosed and untreated in the elderly because they are dismissed as problems associated with getting old, but contrary to this belief, depression isn’t a part of normal aging. Depression is usually triggered by changes in an old adult’s life like the death of loved ones, health problems, financial dependence, and inability to do the things they used to enjoy when they were more physically capable. It’s not uncommon for the elderly to rely on substances such as alcohol to forget their worries and troubles. Some also take more medications to feel better, especially if the elderly is also suffering from other health problems.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety disorders commonly experienced by the elderly include phobia, panic attacks, and social anxiety. Like depression, anxiety disorders stem from the changes experienced by the elderly as well as stress, failing health, and memory loss. In some cases, anxiety and depression are both experienced by the elderly and will cause the person to interact less with other people, focus on being alone and safe, and will be fixated with routine. The most vulnerable people are those who have experienced traumatic events, those who experienced loss of family members, and those with chronic illnesses.

The Saddest Movies You Should Watch

Movies 23 April 2018 | 0 Comments

If you’ve never cried over movies before, try these 12 sad films and see how long you can hold back the tears.

Life is Beautiful (1997)
Guido Orefice is a Jewish Italian businessman who tried to shield his son from the terrors of the concentration camp by making up stories and games.

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
Seita and Setsuko have been orphaned by the Second World War. With nowhere to turn to, the children tried to survive in a bomb shelter by themselves.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008)
Inspired by the novel of the same title by John Boyne, it features two boys in an extermination camp who developed a friendship not knowing one of them is a son of a Nazi commandant and the other is a Jew.

Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009)
This film is a remake of the 1987 movie Hachikou Monogatari and tells the story of the friendship between a music professor and an Akita. Hachi always waited for him at the train station until the professor stopped coming.

Sophie’s Choice (1982)
Based on the novel of the same title by William Styron, the film features Sophie Zawistowski who moved to Brooklyn after spending time at the concentration camp in Auschwitz.

The Green Mile (1999)
Paul Edgecomb is a death row corrections officer who met a mentally-challenged inmate named John Coffey. John was convicted or rape and murder, but later shows that he has supernatural powers after he healed Paul.

Philadelphia (1993)
Andrew Beckett had everything you can ask for until a firm partner pointed out that he had a lesion on his head and was later dismissed. It turned out that he had cancer caused by AIDS. He contacted the lawyer Joe Miller to take his case, but the latter was afraid he would contract AIDS too.

I Am Sam (2001)
Sam Dawson, Lucy’s father, had a developmental disability who needs to fight to secure his parental rights after his ability to take care of the child was questioned.

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
Based on a true story, it recalls the life of Chris Gardner who struggled to make a better life for his son despite being broke and homeless.

The Elephant Man (1980)
The film is based on the life of Joseph Merrick who was a severely deformed star of a freak show. In the movie, the first name was changed to John.

Love Story (1970)
Inspired by the novel of the same title by Erich Segal, it tells the story of Oliver Barrett IV and Jennifer Cavalleri who fall in love despite their class differences. Oliver’s parents threatened to cut off ties with him if he married Jennifer.

Old Yeller (1957)
Based on the novel by Fred Gipson, it tells the story of the friendship between the boy Travis Coates and a stray dog named Old Yeller during the post-Civil War.

Health Benefits You Get After Cutting Back on Coffee

Health and Wellness 14 March 2018 | 0 Comments

On this fast-paced world we live in, it is considered a norm to drink coffee regularly in order to give us the energy we need to finish our tasks. Whether we know it or not, we begin to rely on coffee to give us the boost we need in the morning. It came to a point where we don’t feel alright, or we feel something is lacking, if we deprive ourselves of this hearty drink.

Regardless, drinking too much coffee can actually be harmful to our bodies. Keep in mind that too much of anything can be destructive in the end. With that, nutritionists highlight a couple of health benefits we get from cutting back on our coffee consumption.

1. Lose some pounds
Caffeinated drinks contain far too many calories. And while they are essential for us to burn while we do our day-to-day tasks, a generous amount still remains and therefore weighs us over time. Blended coffee drinks, such as frappucinos, can easily make you gain unwanted weight in every serving. A bit of sugar and cream on your drink may not sound as much, but you’ll be surprised to know they easily equate to roughly about 200 calories.

2. Better sleep
Having a caffeine boost at least six hours before your bed time can disrupt your good night’s sleep. Coffee, for one, is known to keep one’s mental state awake and alert — hence hindering you from achieving a sound rest for the night. Those who are completely off caffeine when the night falls are found to sleep deeper!

3. Feel calmer
Although it varies among different people, coffee is generally infamous for putting the body’s nervous system on high alert. Coffee lovers generally feel anxious after a cup of coffee, if not most. The caffeine it contains triggers adrenaline release to the body. On medical terms, it is also a vasoconstrictor; which means the drink narrows your blood vessels and raises blood pressure. Lesser coffee means lesser feelings of stress and vague anxiousness.

4. Less emergency bathroom trips
Coffee is also known for its effect on speeding up one’s digestive process. Since the drink is acidic, it puts you on the risk of emergency trips to the bathroom more frequently. Significantly cutting back on coffee means you won’t need to prepare for emergency runs to the nearest toilet often. This puts your stomach on a much happier, satisfied state.

5. Whiter teeth
Caffeinated drinks such as coffee and tea are notorious for staining the teeth. This results to your teeth turning yellow, despite your regular habit of flossing and brushing your teeth properly. Cutting back on your coffee consumption is one good way to prevent your teeth from getting further stained. The more coffee you drink, the more likely you are to subject your teeth to staining. Besides, who wouldn’t love a healthy set of pearly whites?

5 Amazing Caffeine Facts Everyone Must Know

Health and Wellness 14 March 2018 | 0 Comments

Caffeine is one of the most popular and accessible stimulants in the market. Adults, for one, are noted to consume an increased amount of caffeine on a daily basis. Their staggering number shouldn’t be a surprise. With all the workloads and deadlines they have to meet, they need a drink to give them the energy they need in getting all the work done.

Although caffeine enjoys its popularity among varied crowds, most people only have limited knowledge when it comes to the stimulant. For instance, when caffeine is brought up in any conversation, people immediately assume they’re talking about coffee or certain sodas. But did you know there’s more to know about caffeine?

1. It brings positive impact on one’s memory
Caffeine is known to have a positive impact on both your short-term and long-term memory. A drink per day may just protect you from cognitive decline (brought about by old age) and even diseases like Alzheimer’s. Regardless, in order to protect the body from Alzheimer’s, it is also important to get enough sleep and rest. Be sure to drink only the right amount of caffeinated drinks, nothing more!

2. Caffeine effects are immediate
The effects of caffeine on the body takes on immediately. The substance can easily pass through the barrier in the blood and the brain, making the body’s central nervous system easy to stimulate. You will instantly feel alert after downing one cup of coffee. The boost continues on for about one hour after consumption, allowing you to achieve more work productivity.

3. Enhances athletic skills
It has been found out how caffeine aids in the improvement of one’s workout or performance in a game/sport. In particular, the stimulant increases one’s alertness and thus decreases reaction time. Consuming caffeine is also likely to help you bring out the best version of you. You can do significantly more for what it seems like a normal amount of effort.

4. It doesn’t dehydrate you
About 98 percent of caffeine is usually consumed through caffeinated drinks. Thus, you are still keeping the body hydrated in a way every time you take it in. Contrary to popular belief, caffeine is unlikely to dehydrate you, but this doesn’t mean you should drink unhealthy amounts of it. It is still encouraged to enjoy the drink moderately. Water is still more effective in keeping yourself hydrated, so don’t forget to chug in some water as well.

5. Caffeine spans beyond beverages
Caffeinated drinks aside, the stimulant can also be consumed majorly in chocolates and other foods and substances. You may even find caffeine in some medicines, such as Midol. This can be dangerous, though, especially if you are diagnosed with an existing hypertension or any heart condition. Remember to consult your doctor if it is alright for you to take caffeine-infused pain relievers.

How to Maximize Your Wedding Flowers Budget

Weddings 22 February 2018 | 0 Comments

Weddings can be some of the most expensive things that you have to plan for in your lifetime in Singapore, and this can be even more difficult when you’re on a budget. However, your dream of having beautiful flowers for your wedding day is not impossible, if you follow these helpful tips:

1. Use locally grown flowers.

Wedding flowers that are locally grown tend to be much cheaper than their imported counterparts, and since this is Singapore, tropical flowers such as orchids will keep for longer.

Another advantage of using locally grown flowers for your wedding is that they are much easier to find and are more likely to be available year-round, which could save both you and your wedding florist the hassle of having to wait for the pre-order.

2. Watch out for the seasons.

Holidays and seasons can affect prices and make the flowers you want for your floral decor centerpiece or wedding car decor more expensive, as they would be in demand by that time. Peonies and roses are two examples of the most popular wedding flowers in Singapore, which can be quite expensive because of the demand for them.

As much as possible, go for flowers that are in-season. Not only will this guarantee you the freshest blooms from your florist’s suppliers, but you will also be guaranteed of cheaper prices.

3. Spread out the more expensive flowers in your floral decor.

One aspect of the wedding that needs to go when you’re on a budget is the scale. For instance, a smaller wedding overall is the better decision to make if you still want to keep the elements that you wanted for your wedding.

The expensive flowers may also have to go in favor of much cheaper and safer alternatives. You may want to forgo the peonies in your bridal bouquet if your budget happens to be on a really tight belt.

Don’t immediately count out a flower from your Singapore https://www.moodfleur.com/wedding-florist/ simply because you don’t like what it looks like by itself. You might find that you have more options when you allow yourself to be open to suggestions than what you initially expected for your bridal bouquet.

For instance, a single carnation flower itself might not be all that gorgeous to look at, but a cluster of them or an arrangement of spray roses is really a sight to behold.

Instead of one large centerpiece or a large vase, opt for several smaller centerpieces or several smaller vases. Talk to your wedding florist in advance if you have changes to make well in advance before proceeding with the order.

4. Flexibility with your flower choices is key.

Allowing yourself to be open to suggestions is a good start – but you can further cut down on your costs by choosing flowers that are flexible in the sense that they can be placed in either centerpieces or the bridal bouquet.

However, this doesn’t mean that you have to give up on the flowers that you always wanted for your wedding. While you may need to cut down, you can still vary the flower pairings in order to come up with a unique combination that will definitely wow guests at your wedding.

5. Opt for more foliage in your wedding flower designs.

Greenery, such as ivory or ferns, may not seem like much at first, but they can be a great filler and sometimes even be separate centerpieces or additions to the bridal bouquet when placed strategically. They are also cheaper to procure than flowers and can serve many purposes, apart from just being centerpieces.

If you have to include expensive flowers for your floral decor, your table centerpieces, and your wedding car decor, choose flowers with big blooms, such as cymbidium orchids, as they can still stand out despite the relative lack of numbers.

6. Keep your arrangements simple.

Don’t splurge on the wedding flowers for the giant centerpieces and floral arches if you can’t afford it – the last thing you want to be in after your wedding is to be waist-deep in debt.

Aside from the floral decor, you should also look out for things such as the non-floral decor, the boutonnieres, and even the wedding favors that could also rack up the price cost when you least expect it. However, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem, as non-floral alternatives are cheaper and can in fact be something you can look into.

You can even mix floral centerpieces with non-floral decor, such as candelabras or lanterns, to give them a special twist.

7. Talk to your wedding florist.

Chances are, your wedding florist will want you to be upfront about your budget, as you will have to take some setbacks if you want to pull your wedding off. If you still have to go with the expensive flowers, you might have to cut back somewhere else, such as the guest list, the catering, or even the accommodations.

Be sure to talk to your wedding florist in Singapore about the kinds of arrangements that you want as well as the ones that are within reach of your budget to work a compromise.

The good news is that you can thank your florist in this case for being flexible with price ranges as well as knowing different wedding flowers that will go great with your wedding flowers and floral decor.

*This list is compiled in no particular order.*

Ceramides: The Miracle You Need for Dry Skin

Skin Care 12 February 2018 | 0 Comments

Ceramides are the skin’s unsung heroes. They are oily wax of lipid molecules that help hold skin cells together. But like all things, they deplete as you age. It is the reason why your skin looks drier and wrinklier over time.
Below, we share with you the scoop on this miracle skincare ingredient—what it is, where to find them and what products have them.

What is ceramides?
Ceramides are skin lipids found on the outermost layer of the skin. As such, they are important for maintaining and reinforcing your skin’s barrier. Remember that your skin’s moisture barrier functions as a security blanket to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, contaminants and bacteria while keeping it well moisturized.
Basically, ceramides are naturally produced by the skin to help seal moisture. Once your ceramides depletes or gets compromised, that’s when you will experience dry and flaky skin. When this happens, you will need to use something that will help replenish your skin’s ceramides to keep your skin supple.

Where to find ceramides?
Now that the rainy and cold weather has begun, you may have noticed a slight change on the condition of your skin. The cold, rainy weather, as well as longer exposure to air conditioned environment, can dry out your skin. Luckily, ceramides can be found in many skincare products. Using body lotions and face creams infused with this miracle ingredient will greatly help restore your skin to its former glory.

What products have ceramides in them?
As mentioned, many skincare products today are infused with ceramides. Moisturizing body and face creams include this in their formulation. Some of the cult favorite products rich in ceramides that skincare junkies swear by are:

Dr Jart Ceramidin Cream – This product is, perhaps, the most talked about in this list. This cream may seem to have very thick consistency, but absorbs quickly when spread onto the skin. You will be surprised of the immediate difference after a couple of use.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair – This one is a head to toe moisturizer that’s rich in ceramides, shea butter, colloidal oatmeal and antioxidants—all fantastic for maintaining a glowing and youthful skin.

Mario Badescu AHA and Ceramides Moisturizer – The product brings twice the power with ceramids and alpha-hydroxy acids in a single skincare product. As the ceramides strengthen your skin’s moisture barrier, alpha-hydroxy acids plumps the skin, reducing visibility of fine lines and wrinkles. With its great effects, you can amp up the results by using it before bedtime.

These are just a few of the best ceramide-rich products you can use for better skin. Explore more options and don’t forget to read the label for more skin beneficial ingredients.

6 Table Manners Everyone Still Needs to Follow

Fine Dining 12 February 2018 | 0 Comments

If you think table etiquette do not matter as much as it used to be, think again. One slurp or wrong grip of fork can turn someone off. To make sure you will not be offending anyone when dining in a quite fancy restaurant, here’s a quick refresher for table manners that still matters.

1. Chew With Your Mouth Closed
Have you been asked before why you chew with your mouth open? That’s a sign that people are quite distracted with noisy and open-mouth chewing. This is the number one table manner everyone should always keep in mind, whether dining at a fancy restaurant or in a fast food chain. Seeing the chewed up matter inside someone else’s mouth is just nasty.

2. Start Eating When Everyone’s Food is Served
The general rule is that when having a sit-down dinner with eight people or less, you can start eating when everyone’s food is served, especially the host’s. At larger guests, you can start eating when the food for people from your either side has been served.

3. Napkins Are Not Tissues
The napkin is used to dab the outsides of your mouth clean. Do not use it to remove your lipstick or (for God’s sake) to blow your nose. If you need to do either of the two, excuse yourself to the bathroom.

4. It’s Not Okay to Ask for Takeaway Box for Leftovers
During formal dinners, like wedding dinners and business lunches, you would look cheap for asking a takeaway box for the leftovers. Remember, you’re there to dine and to socialize, not for the leftovers. Doggie boxes are okay during family dinners, but inappropriate during professional dining.

5. Know How to Position Utensils Properly
Position your fork should be on the right and the knife on the left, crossing over at the center of the plate to let the waiter know you are just resting. To let the waiter know you’re finished, position your fork and knife together at the four o’clock position.

6. The Host Should be the One Paying the Bill
This is quite tricky. If you are the one who invited the other parties, you are the host of the dinner and should be the one paying, regardless of the gender. If the male guest offers to pay, the woman host have choices. You can insist since you were the one who invited him out or excuse yourself from the table and pay the bill without the guest knowing. However, if the man guest strongly insists, you wouldn’t want to fight over it, let him pay.

Keep these tips in mind and you’re all set to dine in a fancy restaurant.

HIV, Pregnancy, and Motherhood

Health and Wellness 26 September 2017 | 0 Comments

Human immunodeficiency virus can be transmitted in three other methods besides sexual contact with an infected person; such as, direct contact with infected blood and blood products, breastmilk from an infected mother, and mother-to-infant transmission at birth.

A surprising number of mothers throughout the world were unaware that they have been infected either by their husband or another partner, and unwittingly infected their newborn in the process. Transmission of the virus can be prevented through HIV screening at one of the clinics or hospitals in Singapore or through an anonymous HIV test done at home through an HIV test kit.

Risk Factors for Mothers

It is possible for a mother to be HIV-infected, but still have a baby who is free from the infection. First, it must be determined if the woman is at risk of contracting the virus at www.kensingtonfamilyclinic.com/std-hiv/hiv-testing in Singapore through practices such as unprotected sex, having multiple partners, having a partner or husband who is HIV-positive, and the sharing of equipment such as needles.

If you are pregnant, your doctor will recommend that you undergo HIV testing during your first antenatal appointment, and another during the third trimester or 36 weeks of gestation. This test is different from the routine prenatal checks that all expectant mothers go through.

Some doctors in Singapore also recommend that a high-risk mother should get an HIV screening right after the delivery of the baby. The newborn will need HIV testing as well, but the methods will differ from those recommended for the mother.

The husband or partner should also get tested, because he is the most likely culprit for infecting the pregnant woman.

As a preventative measure for couples, some doctors advice individuals planning to have a baby to get tested for sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV. Having an STD (especially infections that cause skin lesions such as sores) can also place either you or your partner at risk for contracting HIV.

Testing the Mother

HIV testing is generally accurate, but you will need at least two tests within a 3-month window period to determine if you really are HIV-positive. The earliest test can be performed 3 weeks after the initial infection, so that the virus can be detected in the samples. Testing a pregnant mother for HIV isn’t different from the HIV screening recommended for adolescents and adults.

All the existing HIV testing methods can be classified into two general types; testing for HIV antibodies and testing for the virus itself. The antibodies are the part of your immune system that fight infections, such as HIV. There is a specific antibody that targets certain infections, and the laboratory technicians will specifically look for the presence of HIV antibodies. The antigen on the other hand, is part of the virus that the antibodies will respond to. Some tests include both methods that look for the virus and the antibodies in the blood sample.

If the first test is positive, a different test is needed to confirm the result. If the first test is positive, but the second is negative, the result is called false positive.

HIV-positive pregnant women are recommended to undergo treatment to prevent the infection of the baby. A check-up and several laboratory tests will be required every 3 months to keep the baby healthy. You will need antiretroviral therapy (ART) and you might have to undergo a C-section if the viral load is at a high level. The baby will also be given antiretroviral treatment until he/she can be tested. Breastfeeding and pre-chewing food for the baby is also not allowed until the child is old enough.

Testing the Infant

If the HIV-positive mother is given the appropriate treatment, the chances of transmitting the virus to the infant is reduced to 2% according to studies, as opposed to a 25% chance when there is no treatment. That is why besides the medication, therapy, and tests, the mother should avoid the following risks to reduce transmission: STD infection, smoking and substance abuse, malnutrition, vitamin A deficiency, and high viral load.

There is no way to know if the infant is infected until he/she gets an HIV screening. However, testing infants for the disease can be tricky especially during the first four months of life. Infants younger than 18 months require special HIV testing such as the extraction, amplification, and detection of the HIV nucleic acids. Why is HIV difficult to detect in infants? That’s because the HIV antibody of the infant isn’t distinguishable from the HIV antibody of the mother. The HIV screening aims to distinguish the HIV RNA from the infant’s RNA.

Once the baby is older, HIV tests in Singapore clinics and hospitals that will detect the presence of HIV antigens and/or antibodies can be performed.

Postpartum Care

For babies exposed to HIV, the following treatments are required: postpartum antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, infant ARV prophylaxis, and neonatal Zidovudine prophylaxis for the next four weeks. Even if the baby’s mother has a resistance to ARV, the same treatment will still be recommended for the infant.

For premature babies, either prophylaxis and treatment or prophylaxis alone is recommended, but ARV drugs cannot be prescribed because there is a risk of overdosing.

The doctors must take special care during the delivery by avoiding episiotomies or incisions to enlarge the vaginal opening and the rupturing of the amniotic sac, because the baby will be exposed to more infected fluids and blood. The baby might be given Zidovudine within 8 to 12 hours after birth to decrease the likelihood of infection, and the treatment will continue for the next 6 weeks.

The mother will also receive continuous treatment for HIV and will be given advice how to protect her child from exposure.

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