New HIV/Aids app targets the youth

CAPE TOWN - HIV/Aids is still a taboo topic for South Africa's youth but research shows that 39 percent of new infections occur between the ages of 15 and 24.

A new local app by Doctors Without Borders and Aviro Health now provides the youth with a platform to speak freely about the disease.

The Khetha app is designed for those yearning for help to challenge the pandemic.

Almost 8 million South Africans are living with HIV, according to Stats SA and last year, nearly 240,000 new infections were recorded.

READ: 5,3 million South Africans HIV-positive: survey

The Khetha app is aimed at encouraging discussions around HIV/Aids, as well as knowledge-sharing.

"What makes this app so special is it able to open up conversations with your friends. You also get accurate and correct information from the app also it gives you the tools before you go to the clinic and test," said HIV/Aids activist, Amangile Nxiba.

READ: Second HIV remission patient ignites cure hope

Government and several NGOs have provided many HIV/Aids programmes over the years but the developers are sure this one has an edge on the competition.

"We involve the youth very heavily in the process. So, right from the beginning when we designed what the educational content will be, we talked to a lot of youth. This is a mobile-based platform and we know that cellphone penetration smartphone penetration is very high," said e-health manager, Damon Hacking.

With World Aids Day around the corner, the app's founders say this is not a campaign to mark the occasion. 


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