The DOC2US Virtual Clinic for HIV/ STDs provides free virtual consultations, remote monitoring, and medication delivery every Wednesday from 1pm to 5pm.
DOC2US launches a Virtual HIV Clinic on May 17, 2023. Photo from DOC2US.
KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 – In a major step toward enhancing HIV care and achieving Malaysia’s ambitious 95-95-95 target, health care technology provider DOC2US has launched a groundbreaking Virtual HIV Clinic.
The innovative initiative seeks to bridge the gap in health care access by addressing barriers such as persistent HIV stigma in order to improve patient outcomes in the country.
Malaysia has set its sights on the 95-95-95 global AIDS target, which aims for 95 per cent of people living with HIV (PLHIV) to be aware of their status, 95 per cent of those aware to receive sustained antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 95 per cent of those receiving ART to achieve viral suppression by 2030.
The Ministry of Health’s Global AIDS Monitoring 2021 Progress Report revealed that Malaysia scored 87-58-85 in 2020.
Recognising these challenges, DOC2US has taken a leap forward by introducing a Virtual HIV Clinic, a digital platform that aims to revolutionise HIV health care in Malaysia.
The virtual clinic will offer a range of services, including virtual consultations, remote monitoring, and medication delivery, allowing individuals living with HIV to receive comprehensive care from the comfort of their own homes.
Malaysia’s fight against HIV has been hindered by persistent stigma associated with the disease. However, DOC2US believes that the Virtual HIV Clinic can help mitigate this challenge by providing a safe and confidential environment for patients to seek care.
“The digital space is a readily accessible and indiscriminate facility for everyone. Understanding the stigma, discrimination, or other challenges that people living with HIV (PLHIV) and key populations might face, we hope to provide a virtual outlet that enables people in need to seek treatment and care in confidence,” Dr Raymond Choy, co-founder and CEO of DOC2US, said in a statement today.
By reducing the fear of discrimination and promoting inclusivity, the virtual platform aims to encourage more individuals to come forward for testing, treatment, and support.
Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) president Associate Professor Dr Raja Iskandar Shah Raja Azwa said the availability of telemedicine and virtual platforms for medical consultations for individuals with or at risk of HIV post-COVID is a positive development.
“Working together with DOC2US and other private entities provides an additional option for access to care for people who are not currently engaged in care for various reasons to come forward, start treatment and be retained in care in a safe space without discrimination, thus preventing HIV-related complications.
“Telemedicine is certainly the way forward but patient selection is key. Covid has shown us the importance of embracing technology and we welcome future collaborations with DOC2US,” Dr Raja Iskandar Shah said in a statement.
Steps on how to use DOC2US’ Virtual HIV Clinic. Graphic from DOC2US.
It was previously highlighted that 41 per cent of all new HIV diagnoses in Malaysia in 2020 had AIDS or baseline CD4 counts below 200. The reasons are complex and include stigma and discrimination, whether perceived or experienced, when accessing health services.
CD4 is a type of white blood cell. CD4 cell counts provide an indication of the health of a person’s immune system. A higher number indicates a stronger immune system. PLHIV with a CD4 cell count below 200 are at high risk of developing serious illnesses.
The DOC2US HIV/STD Virtual Clinic operates every Wednesday from 1pm to 5pm. To avail themselves of this free service, individuals simply need to download the DOC2US app and create an account.
Once logged into the DOC2US app, users can access the Virtual HIV/STD clinic directly from the homepage. Patients have the option to select an online doctor with whom they can initiate a chat to discuss their concerns, whether it’s related to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication or an HIV test kit.
Following the consultation, patients may receive an e-prescription from the doctor. Patients can select a delivery method of their choice. Those residing in the Klang Valley can expect to receive their medication right at their doorstep within a swift three-hour timeframe.
Introducing DOC2US, Your Trusted Online Doctor. With its name synonymous to “talk to us”, DOC2US is a mobile application that allows you to talk to a doctor or any healthcare professionals via text chat at any time and from anywhere.