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Avegen launches HIV app connecting HIV patients with counsellors

An innovative mobile-based app for PLHIV

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Avegen has launched a mobile application in Hindi that empowers people living with HIV (PLHIV) with correct information, motivation and skills to adopt healthy behaviour. It is a platform that improves treatment literacy.

As per the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) estimates of 2017, there are 2.14 million people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in India with an estimated adult HIV prevalence of 0.22 per cent. The National AIDS Control programme IV of NACO seeks to halt and reverse the epidemic in India by integrating programmes for prevention, care, support and treatment. The goal of the programme is to provide anti-retroviral therapy (ART) to 3,00,000 adults and 40,000 children by March 2022 and achieve a high level of adherence to ART and minimise the number of patients lost to follow up.

Of the 2.14 million PLWHA, 0.33 million are from Maharashtra and of them 75,220 PLWHA are registered in Mumbai under MDACS with approximately 46,000 PLWHA on active care (alive and taking ART).

“Our HIV app will address the issue of adherence to the ART regime which is an important part of the HIV treatment cascade. People living with HIV, who have been recently diagnosed, require both counselling and treatment support for them to adapt to lifestyle changes around taking medication,” said Dr Nayan Kalnad, Founder and CEO, Avegen.

This app will provide a platform to PLHIV on ART (Anti-Retroviral Therapy) regime. Through the videos, infographics and quizzes, the app will inform, educate and communicate the importance of maintaining ART medication schedules. The app is listed in the Google Play Store as a health app without any reference to HIV. It also integrates an OTP and PIN technology to assure confidentiality.

The app integrates a reward mechanism in the form of points and provides an ‘achievement matrix’ through gamification. PLHIV individuals get points for watching videos, reading infographics and answering quizzes correctly. The app aims to reduce the loss to follow up of PLHIV at the ART centres.

The app includes information about pills, treatment adherence, side effects. It dispels the misconceptions associated with the disease and helps allay stigma. Further, there are pill reminders ensuring adherence and optimal viral suppression and mood indicator system to track the psychological status of the patients.

“With 30 thematic videos, 30 thematic infographics, quizzes on good health, follow up, mentoring support, missed KPs, our mobile app will address adherence by educating and empowering people living with HIV,” added Pallav Patankar, Head – Partnerships, Avegen.

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