For over 30 years, Malaysia has seen various efforts to not only combat HIV/AIDS but to find ways to make testing and treatment as accessible as possible.
As Malaysia has a goal to end HIV/AIDS by 2030, various stakeholders are taking new innovative methods to ensure the 95-95-95 target is met.
The target is to get 95 per cent of people living with HIV (PLHIV) to undergo screening, 95 per cent of those diagnosed positive to receive antiretroviral treatment and 95 per cent of those receiving treatment to achieve undetectable levels of the virus.
To do so, digital health and e-prescription provider Doc2Us has jumped on the bandwagon and launched its virtual HIV clinic to offer free consultation and other services.
Speaking to Malay Mail, the mobile app co-founder and chief executive officer Dr Raymond Choy said the platform offers free teleconsultation services to users who wish to consult doctors online for any HIV/AIDS or sexually-transmitted diseases.
“The HIV Clinic, in particular, operates on Wednesdays from 1pm to 5pm, where licenced doctors will be online to attend to visitors via the app.”
Dr Choy said users can also have access to doorstep HIV/AIDS test kits.
“Upon consultations for PLHIV, doctors can also issue e-prescriptions for HIV/AIDS medication, where the medicine can be delivered directly to home.”
Dr Choy noted that the newly-launched app was initiated to encourage more people to get tested and seek advice about HIV/AIDS-related matters.
“Through this, we can provide a comfortable digital space that will give them the courage to get tested and access the right medication.
“We hope it will offer another alternate channel for PLHIV to seek evidence-based advice and management.”
According to Dr Choy, some PLHIV or key populations who do not feel confident, are afraid, unsure or reserved about going to a physical facility in fear of discrimination or stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS.
“Stigma causes people to be afraid of making the first move to get tested or seek treatment and this virtual clinic mechanism will help them bypass that hurdle through a hybrid mixture of online and offline care.
“Once they take the first step, they will realise that they are not alone.”
Dr Choy said he hopes the platform would encourage more PLHIV to take the first step towards knowing their status and seeking early treatment.
“We need to normalise seeking medical treatment for PLHIV.
“As such services become common practice, especially among the younger generations, we realise how conveniently technology can help us manage different medical conditions.” – Malay Mail