HIV Smart App

HIVsmart! is an open-access mobile app that can be used to encourage people in any community to get tested for HIV. By increasing accessibility, we will demystify the process and empower people to get tested more quickly. It is this type of innovation that will bring about social change and will have a positive long-term impact on our global health population.

Dr. Nitika Pant Pai, MD., MPH., PhD

RI-MUHC Researcher

The Challenge

Globally, 36.9 million people live with HIV/AIDS, and an astounding 50% of these infected individuals do not know that they are HIV positive. Although global transmission rates are now in decline, they remain alarmingly high, and a combination of stigma, discrimination, social visibility and fear of non-confidentiality often prevent people from getting tested in healthcare facilities.

The Solution

muhc-foundation-dr-nitika-pant-pai-hivsmart-app-600x400Dr. Nitika Pant Pai from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) is revolutionizing HIV testing and making it more accessible to those who need it most. Her open-access mobile health application called HIVsmart! guides an individual through the process of performing their own HIV screening test, which consists of obtaining an oral fluid sample from the gum lining of their mouth. This non-invasive, simple test can detect the presence of HIV antibodies within 20 minutes and can be conducted in the privacy of one’s own home. HIVsmart! users are also provided with information, instructional videos, a 24 hour help line and confidential linkages to healthcare facilities and access to counsellors should they have a positive test. 

Dr. Pant Pai and her team have made tremendous progress in improving the screening and diagnosis of HIV for vulnerable populations in both low and high income countries. Their work is transforming health care and it will empower patients while also curbing the number of newly-diagnosed HIV cases in a novel and cost-effective manner. In order to reach an even greater audience with the HIVsmart! app and ensure that the MUHC remains a global leader in mobile health HIV self-testing, Dr. Pant Pai and her team must:

  • Continue to develop the HIVsmart! app so that it is more widely accessible to the global population
  • Increase the number of linkages to healthcare and counselling for HIV positive patients
  • Train future generations of researchers, doctors and medical professionals in HIV testing best practices
  • Develop complementary mobile apps to tackle other infections closely related to HIV
  • Translate the HIVsmart! app into upwards of ten languages

How you can help

We are raising $500,000 to help support Dr. Pant Pai’s HIVsmart! app.

You can donate online, download our donation form or call us at 514-843-1543.

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La Fondation du CUSM et la Fondation de l'HGJ - JGH Foundation sont fières d’annoncer un don de Power Corporation du Canada pour appuyer des travaux effectués dans les deux hôpitaux dans le cadre d’une étude pancanadienne sur le traitement de patients atteints de la COVID-19 à l’aide de plasma sanguin de patients guéris de la maladie. Cette technique consiste à transfuser des anticorps à des patients malades pour déclencher la réponse immunitaire nécessaire pour combattre le virus. Ce n’est qu’un exemple parmi d’autres des façons dont les meilleurs cliniciens et chercheurs du Québec et du Canada collaborent dans le cadre de MI4 pour innover et sauver des vies.


The MUHC Foundation and Fondation de l'HGJ - JGH Foundation are proud to announce a joint gift from Power Corporation of Canada in support of work being done at both hospitals for a Canada-wide study exploring treating COVID-19 patients with the blood plasma of those who’ve recovered from the disease. The technique involves transferring antibodies to sick patients, triggering the immune response needed to beat the virus. Just one example of how the top clinicians and researchers across Quebec and Canada are coming together through MI4 to innovate and save lives.

📸: MI4 investigators and MUHC clinican-scientists Dr. Marina Klein and Dr. Makeda Semret
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