Are HIV smartphone apps and online interventions fit for purpose?

Aneesha Singh, Jo Gibbs, Claudia Estcourt, Pam Sonnerberg, Ann Blandford

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

17 Citations (Scopus)
213 Downloads (Pure)


Sexual health is an under-explored area of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), particularly sexually transmitted infections such as HIV. Due to the stigma associated with these infections, people are often motivated to seek information online. With the rise of smartphone and web apps, there is enormous potential for technology to provide easily accessible information and resources. However, using online information raises important concerns about the trustworthiness of these resources and whether they are fit for purpose. We conducted a review of smartphone and web apps to investigate the landscape of currently available online apps and whether they meet the diverse needs of people seeking information on HIV online. Our functionality review revealed that existing technology interventions have a one-size-fits-all approach and do not support the breadth and complexity of HIV-related support needs. We argue that technology-based interventions need to signpost their offering and provide tailored support for different stages of HIV, including prevention, testing, diagnosis and management.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2017 International Conference on Digital Health
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450352499
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2017


  • HIV
  • on-line monitoring
  • sexual health
  • apps

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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