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
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.
Dr. 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.