As I was installing the HIV Preparedness App, I had one thing on my mind; I HOPE this app won’t ask me for my name and other personal details because that will be the first and maybe last red flag. I was already envisioning a database leak that would make it very awkward for many potential users of the application to have their status out in the open. Thankfully, the app didn’t ask me for my name or any other details that could reveal my identity. From then on I could look at the app with an open mind.
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Helping you meet your treatment goals.
The HIV Client Treatment Preparedness app (or HCTP as I’ll refer to it going forward) provides information meant to prepare newly diagnosed clients for the lifelong journey on ART (Anti-Retroviral Treatment). The app aims to help users achieve 5 HIV care and treatment goals in the first 6 months of being diagnosed with HIV. What are these 6 goals?
- Get On – Start ART early
- Stay On – Disclose to someone you trust and find community support
- Stay On – Take you medicine in the right amount, the right time
- Stay On – Keep track of your clinic appointments and ARV pickups
- Live On – Know your viral load and if your HIV treatment is working through viral load monitoring
Now obviously this is a pretty big deal and one would want to know who exactly developed the application and whether they actually know anything about anything. Well, the application was developed by Age-X Development (a local team) and OPHID (Organization for Public Health Interventions and Development) Zimbabwe so best believe this app is not filled with useless mumbo-jumbo.
The app has descriptions of what and why users need to meet all the goals set out for them and the fact that there are recordings explaining exactly this in either Shona and Ndebele means this application has a wider level of entry than you would expect. There’s also a progress counter to see to it that you are meeting all the goals that the app is taking you through. You can also record medical tests and the application keeps a log of those tests as well.
Users of the HCTP application can also add some information that will help them meet all of these goals. The info you add includes;
- ART Number
- Date of ART initiation
- 6-month viral load date
- Next resupply date
- Morning dose time
- Evening dose time
Overall the HCTP app seems like something that will be of genuine use to the people it’s targetted towards.
Because this app is dealing with pretty sensitive information, a lot of people would like to know just how secure the application is. Well, as I said earlier on, HCTP doesn’t ask for your name or your date of birth. It only asks for your age and your gender, which means even if a database were to leak there would be nothing to identify you by. On top of that there are some additional security features to ensure no one has their nose in your business,, even Ophid and Age-X;
- The application is password protected. Every time you open the app you have to enter a password.
- The application doesn’t request any permissions from your phone. None at all, which means the developers won’t have access to your location or your contacts and camera etc.