A ‘groundbreaking’ new online tool will not only support people living with HIV (PLHIV), but inform other and also fight stigma.
NAT (National AIDS Trust) teamed up with digital social enterprise, Reason Digital, to create ‘Looped In’.
The website offers people in the UK a range of trusted content developed for different audiences. Those audiences include, PLHIV, to friends, sexual partners, family and medical professionals.
There are about 101,600 PLHIV in the UK and 92% of those people know their status. That means there’s still around 1 in 12 PLHIV in the UK and don’t know it.
Looped In allows PLHIV to select the content they want to share and send it to who they want to.
‘We know misinformation… makes things hard for those with the virus, and even those who are most comfortable talking about HIV can find it difficult to challenge misconceptions sometimes,’ said Deborah Gold, chief executive of NAT.
‘We also know that PLHIV are the strongest advocates against stigma and that talking about HIV can be hugely empowering.
‘Looped in will empower and enable conversations about HIV. Giving people a customizable, convenient and evolving way to educate others is part of how we aim to spread understanding.’
For LeaSuwanna, a woman in London living with HIV is not such a ‘big deal’. But the stigma she faces when she tells people she’s living with HIV is another issue.
‘You try to stay healthy and take your medication, so you can’t pass on the virus. However, when I’ve said I have HIV, I’ve been asked if I am going to die, or if I have AIDS,’ she said.
‘People’s HIV awareness hasn’t improved as much as the treatment has. For people with the virus, explaining the same facts to people all the time can be tiring, intimidating or difficult.’