Antiretroviral therapy in Malaysia: identifying barriers to universal access

Kamarulzaman, A. (2009) Antiretroviral therapy in Malaysia: identifying barriers to universal access. HIV Therapy, 3 (6). pp. 573-582. ISSN 1758-4310,

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Despite a good public healthcare infrastructure and greater availability of antiretroviral drugs in Malaysia since 2005, the number of HIV-infected patients receiving treatment remains disproportionately small. Barriers to greater access include a lack of trained human resources to deliver antiretroviral therapy (ART) in a highly individualized and specialized model and, until recently, a lack of treatment for substance abuse in a predominantly injecting drug-use epidemic. However, one of the biggest barriers, and perhaps the most challenging to overcome, is the stigma and discrimination towards HIV-infected people, especially injecting drug users, which prevented many from accessing treatment and care. Increasing and improved access to ART for HIV-infected patients will entail a multipronged strategy that includes the decentralization of clinical care, increased and ongoing training of healthcare workers and support staff, and a comprehensive and intensive effort to reduce stigma and discrimination. Creation of an enabling environment through public education and a well-trained and nonprejudicial healthcare work force, coupled with policy and legal reforms, are essential in ensuring a greater and sustainable access to ART for all.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Building, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA
Uncontrolled Keywords: Antiretroviral Therapy
Subjects: R Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine
Depositing User: Ms azrahani halim
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2013 02:02
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2013 02:02

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