HIV is a blight, but HIV apps are making it easier to live with. Here’s what you need to know about what they do and how they help people.
Over 35 million people around the globe suffer from HIV, a condition that causes degradation of the immune system and can be devastating if not kept under control. While there have been promising treatments involving stem cells, there isn’t yet an outright cure for HIV, so it’s something that people must cope with for their entire lives.
The process of managing HIV, though, can vary significantly from person to person. It depends on their condition, their age, and their life plans, to name just a few significant factors. To help people deal with HIV, various organizations and companies have produced HIV apps. Let’s take a look at what HIV apps are for, why awareness is so important, and what a good app can do.
What an HIV app is for
In short, an HIV app is designed to make an HIV sufferer’s life easier. It’s difficult enough dealing with HIV in general, so having to manually keep track of what treatment you’ve used and what’s happening in the field of HIV research just adds to the stress.
Mobile apps make our lives simpler and more convenient in so many ways – why wouldn’t we want to do the same when it comes to our health, the most important thing we have? HIV apps also make things easier for medical and charitable organizations, giving them easy ways to get in touch with HIV sufferers and get them involved in relevant schemes.
Of course, use of an HIV app isn’t restricted to an HIV sufferer. It can also be extremely useful for someone who aspires to work in a relevant medical field, or who knows a sufferer and wants to develop a better understanding of how to support them. Providing important (often lifesaving) information for anyone who’s curious is a worthwhile goal in itself (more on that next).
Why HIV awareness is so important
HIV is so difficult to eradicate because of how it’s transmitted: typically through sexual intercourse, but also through exposure to infected blood. Young sexually-active adults aren’t known for making the best long-term decisions, nor are they hugely likely to be well-versed in the dangers of HIV and how to avoid or combat it.
It’s also tough to easily communicate the long-term impact of HIV, because it can progress very slowly (and, of course, be effectively held back through proper treatment). To the ill-informed, it might seem like HIV isn’t a major cause for concern, leading them to be dangerously indifferent.
And then there’s the matter of supporting medical science, and perhaps one day developing a full cure. Government funding only goes so far, and there isn’t always much profit to be made developing HIV medication, so donations are essential. The more awareness the public has of the danger of HIV (and how it can lead to AIDS), the more money can be raised to keep pushing vital research ahead.
The functionality of a good HIV app
There are different types of HIV app, so functionality varies, but a great HIV app will help the user with at least one of the following things:
- Learning more about HIV: reading about the terms involved, the latest research, representation in the media, and notable events in funding or fundraising. Staying apprised of new treatments, for instance, ensures that a sufferer has something to ask their doctor about during their next check-up.
- Getting the best prices for required drugs: selecting the required drugs and being given clear information about the cheapest places to get them. HIV medication can be extremely expensive (to the point that some sufferers can’t afford it), so there’s a huge about of money to be saved through shopping around.
- Staying on track with medication: taking medicine at the right times and in the right dosages, and avoiding anything that might negatively interact with their treatment. Interactions between HIV drugs and other medicines are actually quite common, and the consequences of an HIV treatment being blocked by another medicine could be dire.
- Finding relevant support services: locating organizations that work with HIV sufferers, or support groups where they can talk to other sufferers. It isn’t an easy condition to talk about, even when dealing with medical professionals, so it’s greatly reassuring for a sufferer to know they have access to people who understand their situation.
While there’s plenty of HIV information available through regular internet browsing, the point is to make it as simple as possible for a sufferer to take action they might otherwise find too daunting. It’s hard for someone to accept that they have HIV, and a part of them might want to just ignore it whenever possible – having a dedicated app instead of having to search for it might help them overcome that initial reluctance.
The best HIV apps available today
If you’re an HIV sufferer, or you know someone who is, then it will definitely be worth your time to take a look at some HIV apps. Here’s a pick for each of the functions we just looked at:
- Learning more: the AIDSinfo apps are great for this. There’s a guidelines app, a drug database app, and a glossary app. Get them installed and you should have a great baseline for getting to grips with how HIV affects you.
- Getting the best prices: the GoodRX app is dedicated to helping you fulfil your specific prescription without paying more than you need to. Set it up and start saving money.
- Staying on track: the MyTherapy app was designed to help people carefully track their medication consumption, making it perfect for dealing with HIV treatment.
- Finding support: the Daily Charge app helps you connect with the HIV-positive community, with the added bonus of also providing all the other functions we’ve looked at. If you’re looking for just one app that will cover your needs, this is the best choice.
Overall, if you suffer from HIV – or you’re looking for a suggestion for someone who does – then give the Daily Charge app a try. It offers a lot of functionality, even letting you track CD4 cell counts, and is a fantastic tool for making it easier to live with HIV.