28 November 2022 | Monday | News
Image Source : Public Domain
The regional survey results were based on responses from 1,531 respondents, comprising 787 PLHIV and 744 IARs, across nine countries/territories in the Asia Pacific (Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam) received during June to September 2022. The survey explored the perspective of PLHIV and IARs to better understand how HIV telehealth services can be improved. This builds on the first Gilead HIV Pulse Survey conducted in 2020 whereby 56% of PLHIV and 64% of IAR reported no access to telehealth services with their doctors. Since then, an analysis into the 2022 responses found that:
“UNAIDS’ call to action for World AIDS Day 2022 is EQUALIZE, which is why the results of this survey is timely to demonstrate where and how the use of telehealth has grown across the Asia Pacific. If telehealth use is going to remain high beyond the COVID-19 crisis, we need to ensure equity of access,” said Caroline Choi, Senior Director and Medical Affairs Asia 5 Lead, Gilead Sciences. “Not only do HCPs and Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) need to implement innovative forms of care, such as providing e-prescriptions, but healthcare systems must also adapt to the needs of patients when modernizing HIV services.”
“The pandemic has ushered in confidence for the public to be an active participant in managing their own health,” said Sumita Banerjee, Executive Director, Action for AIDS (AfA) Singapore. “In the context of HIV, telehealth services that have been endorsed and approved by relevant authorities may provide additional support to existing services to retain PLHIV in care. The study provides insights to understand the expectations that PLHIV and key populations have from using such a service.”
“With stigma still unfortunately a barrier for some PLHIV and IARs seeking high-quality medical help and advice, it is important to note that at present, telehealth is not a silver bullet. It is clear from this survey that two-way communications with HCPs or CBOs are especially important for those on antiretroviral therapy (ART) which could help improve their adherence to medicine,” said Dr. Julian Ng, Deputy CEO of DTAP Clinic Pte Ltd. “This is an opportunity for telehealth providers to further tailor their online services in order to give patients what they want and what they need.”
HIV Asia Study 2.0: Enhancing HIV services to build back from COVID-19
The quantitative online survey was conducted from June to September 2022 and compiled by Cerner Enviza (formerly Kantar Health) with funding from Gilead Sciences. Conducted across 9 target markets (Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam), it aims to define optimal engagement configurations using telehealth services to improve access to HIV testing and preventive medications. 1,531 respondents, comprising of 787 PLHIV and 744 IAR, participated in the survey. Two CBOs from each market were also interviewed to gain insights on the engagement configurations for PLHIV and IARs during COVID-19.