Information about HIV for foreign visitors and residents in Taiwan
Can I travel to Taiwan if I have HIV?
The government lifted restrictions on HIV-positive foreigners traveling to Taiwan in February 2015. Therefore, visitor visa applications do not require an HIV test.
Can I work or study in Taiwan if I have HIV?
Starting in February 2015, the government stopped requiring foreigners to take an HIV test if they are applying for a work permit or student visa. In addition, it’s against the law for a company or school to require an employee/student to take an HIV test during a routine health checkup or to fire/expel someone just for being HIV positive. If you encounter any discrimination or violation of your rights, please contact PRAA
Can I stay in Taiwan, if I have HIV?
All residency restrictions for foreigners with HIV or AIDS were lifted in February 2015. Thus, foreigners are no longer deported just for being HIV positive, and applications for an Alien Resident Certificate (long-term residency), an Alien Permanent Resident Certificate (APRC, permanent residency), or naturalization no longer require an HIV test.
Where can I obtain an HIV test?
HIV tests are widely available in Taiwan. Here is a list of organizations/hospitals that offer anonymous and free HIV tests and counseling
What happens if my HIV test turns out positive?
In general, if your initial test is positive, you will be referred to a hospital to take a confirmation test (usually a Western blot or viral load test). If the confirmation test is also positive, the hospital is required by law to notify the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC). However, you may tell your health service provider that you want to postpone the confirmation test, should you have any concerns. Notification to the Taiwan CDC will not change your legal status in Taiwan.
Can I be treated for HIV in Taiwan?
For Taiwanese citizens, antiretroviral therapy (ART) is free. However, foreigners who have National Health Insurance (NHI) are only eligible for free ART two years after their confirmation test and initial purchase of medication locally. During those first two years, the foreigner will be responsible for all costs related to HIV, including exams, medication, and other forms of treatment. Currently, the cost for ART is NTD$ 13,200 per month on average. Some foreigners order medicine from online pharmacies or purchase medicine abroad, such as at the Thai Red Cross Anonymous Clinic in Bangkok, Thailand.
Can I get post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) in Taiwan?
Post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP, is a way to prevent HIV infection by taking 28-day antiretrovirial medications in emergency situations and must be started within 72 hours after a recent possible exposure to HIV. The NHI doesn’t cover PEP currently. The out-of-pocket cost for 28-day PEP with Truvada® + Isentress® or Truvada® + Tivicay® (recommended regimen by US CDC) is NTD$ 13,200 on average.
Can I get pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in Taiwan?
Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a way for people who don’t have HIV but who are at substantial risk of getting it to prevent HIV infection by taking a pill, or Truvada®, a fixed-dose combination of emtricitabine (FTC) and tenofovir (TDF) every day. The NHI doesn’t cover PrEP currently. The out-of-pocket cost for brand name Truvada® is NTD$ 12,000 per month on average. Some hospitals offer "patient assistance programs", PAP, which will cost an average of NTD $4,000 per month.
Generic PrEP with FTC/TDF fixed-dose combination is not available for sale in Taiwan, though you can order the medication from online pharmacies or purchase it abroad. The out-of-pocket cost for generic ones is NTD$ 1,000 – 3,000 per month on average.

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Other STDs

Here below are types of common sexually transmitted diseases, let us get to know them together!




Diagnostic method

There are two main serological test methods with a blood draw for syphilis

RPR/VDR (non-treponemal test):

This method shows the activity of the syphilis virus which could be applied for tracking the curative efficacy.

FTA-ABS/TPHA (/treponemal test):

This method is used to diagnose syphilis, once people get syphilis, this test result would be positive for a lifelong.


With long-acting penicillin or oral antibiotics, the complete treatment could cure syphilis.


Doxy-PEP is a post-exposure prophylaxis using the antibiotic doxycycline to prevent bacterial sexually transmitted diseases. The guideline for use is "3-2-1," meaning that within three days after exposure (post-sexual activity), two 100mg capsules of doxycycline should be taken simultaneously, in a single dose. When taking this medication, it is advised to undergo regular sexual disease screenings at a clinic, consume it with food to reduce gastrointestinal side effects, and avoid taking it with milk to prevent interference with absorption. For more Doxy-PEP information, please refer to our Doxy-PEP FAQ.

About Syphilis

Syphilis is an STI caused by Treponema pallidum. Treponema pallidum invades the body through mucosal contact and blood contact, the main transmitting method is sexual behaviour.

Symptoms of infection

Primary stage|Usually appears symptoms within 9 to 90 days (average 3 weeks). Small and red blisters or ulcers (normally are painless and gradually disappear) could appear on the genital, perianal, or peristomal part. Swollen lymph nodes might appear around the lesion which is called a hard chancre. If no treatment is applied at the primary stage of syphilis, the hard chancre would heal and disappear after a few weeks.

Secondary stage|After about 2 months of infection, scaling rashes could appear on limbs, palms, and soles; hair loss, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and influenza‑like symptoms could also occur.

Tertiary stage|At this stage or in the later period of Syphilis, Treponema pallidum could invade the heart, blood vessels, joints or the nervous system etc. which causes blindness, heart attack, hemiplegia, or death.




Diagnostic method

Smear examination of the infection part.

NAAT (Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests)


Since the drug resistance of Neisseria gonorrhoeae is growing over the years, the simple oral antibiotics treatment is not much effective, the lesion could be fully cured if a single intramuscular injection of ceftriaxone treatment is applied. Based on the past experience, the treatment of Gonorrhoea has to be complementary to the treatment of Chlamydia.

About Gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea is an STD caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It mainly has a negative influence on the genital system.

Symptoms of infection

Usually, the symptoms occur within 2 to 14 days after the infection, including burning pain during urination. For females, there could be much yellow pus vaginal discharge, unusual bleeding during the periods, or even pelvic inflammation. For males, there could be thick urethral secretions or prostatitis. Fever and joint swelling (Arthritis) could also appear.




Diagnostic method

Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAAT)


Treatment with oral antibiotics. Based on the past experience, the treatment of Chlamydia should be complementary to the Gonorrhoea treatment.

About Chlamydia

Chlamydia is an STD caused by Chlamydia trachomatis. It mainly has a negative influence on the genital system.

Symptoms of infection

Among the infection of Chlamydia, approximately half of the people have asymptomatic infection but still possess transmissibility. The symptoms normally appear within 1 to 3 weeks after the infection, including an unusual increase in the genital secretions, burning pain during urination, or abdominal pain. If the situation is critical, females might have a pelvic infection (influence on the ovary and the uterine tube).


Genital warts


Diagnostic method

Genital warts could be found through a clinical examination, but if the lesion is on the cervix or in the anus, the diagnosis would require an endoscopy. A regular pap smear or anus smear could help early diagnosis.


There are different suggested treatments for different lesion locations and sizes. The common treatments are cryotherapy, partial antiviral therapeutic medication for warts, and electrocauterization. Sometimes would also require surgery under anaesthesia to conduct electrocauterization. Different treatment comes with different recurrence chance. If a new lesion occurs after having the treatment, the reinfection could still happen.

Price of self-paid vaccine

Each HPV 9-valent vaccine cost 6,000 NTD on average. There are in total 3 doses of the vaccination.

There is an interval (0, 1 to 2, or 6 months ) between every 3 doses. The HPV vaccine has more than 10 years of efficacy.

About genital warts

Genital warts are caused by HPV (human papillomavirus). HPV could be divided into HR-HPV (High-risk HPV) such as types 16 and 18 or LR-HPV (Low-risk HPV) such as types 6 and 11. LR-HPV may cause genital warts.

Symptoms of infection

Usually, the symptoms appear within 3 weeks to 3 months after the infection, the common lesion appears on the genital, sometimes might also be found around the anus, perineum, or even the intravaginal part and the cervix. There will be pink or white warts on the affected area, the wart could be just a single one or multiple ones or even aggregate as a big area on the body; both males and females could feel the affected area itchy and burning sensation.

HPV (Human papillomavirus) vaccine

Nowadays, there are multivalent vaccines such as the 2-valent vaccine which could prevent HR-HPV and the 4- and 9-valent vaccines which could prevent both HR-HPV and genital warts. The 4-valent vaccine could prevent 70% of oncogenic HPV, 90% of HPV that causes genital warts, 70% of cervical cancer, 50% of anal cancer, and it is able to prevent about 35% to 50% of anal cancer’s pre-malignancy; the 9-valent vaccine could reduce 15% incidence rate of cervical cancer and 10% incidence rate of anal cancer. The market in Taiwan currently offers 9-valent vaccines, and it is recommended for men and women aged from 9 to 45 to apply.




Diagnostic method

Amoebiasis could be found and diagnosed with stool and blood examination.


The treatment must be applied to both the protozoa and the oocyst of Amoebiasis: The treatment includes oral or injection of Metronidazole and oral Iodoquinol or Paromomycin. There is a possible recurrence if the oocyst is not fully removed.

About Amoebiasis

Amoebiasis is caused by Entamoeba histolytica, the human body could be infected with Amoebiasis via the faecal-oral contact of the oocyst at the anus.

Symptoms of infection

Entamoeba histolytica is an intestinal parasite, most of the infected patients do not show obvious symptoms, normally, the latent period is around 2 to 4 weeks whilst the infection could last for many years. Entamoeba histolytica could invade the intestinal wall tissue which leads to intestinal symptoms, such as abdominal discomfort, intermittent diarrhea, or constipation; and also happen along with fever, chillness, bloody stool, or mucus in stool. And there are about 10% of invasive Amoebiasis infections that could invade the liver through blood flow and cause an amoebic liver abscess.


Pthirus pubis


Diagnostic method

Pthirus pubis could be diagnosed with a microscopic examination of the eggs or the insect itself on human hair.


The treatment requires shaving the pubic hair and the anal hair; applying pediculicide for external use. To prevent the reinfection, remember to steam or boil the contaminated clothes, sheets, and quilt.

About Pthirus pubis

Pthirus pubis is a parasitic insect that lives on human hair, it is usually to be found in the perineal area. Besides the perineal area, it could also be living on hairs, eyelashes, beards, and armpit hair. The main transmission method is via sexual behaviour, but contact with any contaminated clothes or sheets could also cause an infection of Pthirus pubis.

Symptoms of infection

The symptoms of Pthirus pubis include itching in the perineal area (especially at night), rashes, papule, blood scabs, or green bruises in the perineal area; powdered or grained rust colour faeces could also be found on the underwear, and rust or reddish-brown oval eggs could appear on the pubic hair root.


Hepatitis A


Diagnostic method

Hepatitis A could be diagnosed with serological test methods with a blood draw.


Normally, with supportive therapy, acute hepatitis A should heal spontaneously.

About Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is viral hepatitis, the latent period is about 15 to 50 days (with an average of 28 to 30 days). The main transmission method of it is via the faecal-oral route which means the infection could happen due to the contact with the contaminated water or food; if the hands have contact with the faeces of the infected person and are not thoroughly cleaned, and then contact with food or mouth may also cause indirect infection.

Usually, the severity of clinical symptoms of hepatitis A increases with age. Most of the infection in childhood has no clinical symptoms or just mild symptoms, no sequelae or recurrence after recovery, and the mortality rate is only about 1 in 1,000 (mostly happens to the elder patients).

Symptoms of infection

The hepatitis A symptoms are fever, fatigue, poor appetite, and jaundice will appear in a few days.

Hepatitis A vaccine

Hepatitis A vaccine is the most effective prevention method, the hepatitis A vaccine has reliable safety and efficiency credit. It consists of 2 doses with an interval of 6 to 12 months. The protective effect of the vaccine is over 97%, and the immunity can be maintained for more than 20 years.


Hepatitis B


Diagnostic method

Hepatitis B could be diagnosed with serological test methods with a blood draw.


At the present, the medications for hepatitis B in Taiwan are Interferon, Lamivudine, Adefovir, Entecavir, Telbivudine, and Tenofovir.

Chronic hepatitis B carriers should go to the nearest hospital for an evaluation, those patients who meet the treatment conditions could follow the doctor’s instructions to proceed with the therapy which could lower the risk of getting liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Price of self-paid vaccine

The self-paid hepatitis B vaccine costs 250 to 500 NTD. per dose.

About Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is viral hepatitis, its main routes of infection are through body fluid, blood, close contact, blood transfusion, and injection. And it can be divided into the vertical and the horizontal transmission.

Vertical transmission|A vertical transmission means that a mother who is a hepatitis B virus carrier passes the virus to the newborn before and after giving birth. In the past, about 40 to 50% of the carriers in Taiwan passed the infection through this route.

Horizontal transmission|Blood or body fluids containing viruses enter the body through the skin or mucous and lead to an infection, so having an unexamined blood transfusion and its preparations, sharing needles or syringes, acupuncture, ear piercing, eyebrow tattooing, tattooing, sharing toothbrushes or razors, risky sexual behaviour, etc., could cause hepatitis B infection.

Symptoms of infection

The symptoms of hepatitis B are usually insignificant, including anorexia, mild abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting, and sometimes joint pain, rash, jaundice, and mild fever could appear. The severity could be divided into the asymptomatic infection that could only be confirmed with the serological test methods to fulminant hepatitis which is lethal.

Hepatitis B vaccine

An adult who has a blood draw test negative for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBs Ag) and hepatitis B surface antibody (Anti-HBs Ab) should inject the hepatitis B vaccine.

If one who has ever injected hepatitis B vaccine, the antibody levels will gradually decrease after 5 to 10 years. Hence the hepatitis B surface antibody might not be detectable but once there is a virus infection, the antibody could still increase to fight the virus. It may be considered that to have 1 dose of self-paid hepatitis B vaccine and do the blood draw test a month later, if the surface antibody is still negative, then the 2nd. and the 3rd.dose could be completed and injected with the recommended schedule.


Hepatitis C


Diagnostic method

Hepatitis C could be diagnosed with serological test methods and viral load with a blood draw.


Hepatitis C is curable, with the traditional oral antivirus medication, ribavirin, along with pegylated interferon subcutaneous injection, the treatment lasts 24 to 48 weeks. The cure rate of hepatitis C in Taiwan is as high as 80% to 90%.

The latest treatment is the combination of oral antivirus medications (Direct acting agents, DAA) for 8 to 12 weeks. Depending on the genotype of the virus, the cure rate is as high as 90% or more, the National Health Insurance currently covers the expense for oral drug treatment with conditions.

About Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C transmits through the blood or body fluid with hepatitis C virus entering the human body through skin or mucosa. The latent period of hepatitis C is 2 to 24 weeks, normally 6 to 9 weeks. It should be noted that after recovery from hepatitis C treatment, protective immunity will not be generated, so reinfection may be possible through the same route.

Symptoms of infection

Fatigue, epigastric bloating, anorexia, or jaundice may be present with acute infection. The severity of the illness can range from insignificant symptoms to fulminant hepatitis, which can lead to a fatal condition, but most symptoms are mild or asymptomatic.

Hepatitis C vaccine

There is currently no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C.