The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in collaboration with AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Department of Telecommunications and National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) have launched a new mobile application on HIV/AIDS. The mobile application will provide complete information on HIV, increase awareness and risk perception as well as prompt users to access HIV testing from the nearest centre free of cost. Ensuring confidentiality, with bi-lingual facility and easy compatibility, it is expected to reach more than 11 crore people across urban and rural settings. The new mobile App on HIV will be taken to the block level by DoT with the help of BSNL and MTNL to cover rural youth across the country.
Speaking at the occasion, JP Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare said, “Technology and youth are inseparable, however, inadequate access to information and complex messages from various sources can confuse the youth. If we can use technology to guide and educate youth, it can open up endless opportunities to reach the young with authentic information on the services on HIV and AIDS. There is a dire need to motivate, inform and guide them. This mobile application, aptly titled, HIV education and linkage to prevention (HELP), will bridge the gap helping the youth to know their HIV status. It will transmit information personally to each of them which is a step ahead of door to door health services.”
“The National AIDS Control Programme is widely acknowledged for its success. It is vital that we use newer technologies to reach young people with messages on HIV. This mobile application will complement the efforts of early testing and treatment. We stand committed to prevent the young generation from HIV/AIDS,” added Bhanu Pratap Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Navneet S Kang, Additional Secretary and DG, NACO, stated, “This application will enable the young to assess their risk to HIV and then, take a step forward and get themselves tested. NACO acknowledges the support of AIDS Healthcare Foundation for developing this mobile App for HIV.”
Michael Weinstein, President, AIDS Healthcare Foundation said, “The collaboration is strategic as we intend to increase testing and reach the unreached through technology. AHF’s support for this initiative is a part of our ’20×20 Call to Action’ for treating 20 million people globally by the end of 2020. This we feel can only be achieved by greater identification and technology-based initiatives which can generate awareness about HIV and, thereby, lead to greater testing uptake.”