Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) attacks the body’s immune system, making a person more vulnerable to other infections and diseases. Its transmission remains a major global health concern, affecting more than 36 million people globally, of which 2.3 million people live in Europe. Antiretroviral therapies have been developed to help lower viral loads, fight infections and improve quality of life.
In their first week at the helm of the Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Spanish Government has reaffirmed its commitment to fighting the stigma and discrimination around HIV. Unfortunately, more than 40 years after the HIV epidemic began, significant stigma and discrimination still persist, increasing the risk of HIV acquisition and progression to AIDS, violence, and marginalisation while reducing access to education, employment and justice. As a “first-level political priority,” The Spanish Government plans to eliminate all forms of stigma and discrimination associated with this condition. UN AIDS’ goal is to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 and while Europe has the tools and resources to effectively tackle HIV, stigma remains a key barrier.
As the most patient-centric and solution-oriented innovators, startups have been at the forefront in developing cutting-edge technologies that continue to save lives and support healthcare systems in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Here are three startups employing a holistic approach to tackling stigmatisation.
Life4me+ provides comprehensive support to people living with HIV through a mobile application that offers personalised information, reminders for medication, access to medical records, and a community platform for users to connect and share experiences. Life4me+ aims to reduce stigma by fostering a supportive community and providing accurate information about HIV.
MyHIV is a digital health platform that provides tools for tracking HIV treatment and related health metrics. The platform allows users to log their medications, set reminders, and track their progress, empowering individuals to take control of their health and reduce the stigma associated with HIV.
ViiV Healthcare has shown its long-standing commitment to fighting HIV stigma and discrimination, implementing Positive Action programmes alongside vulnerable communities. Initiatives such as HIV in View provides empowering images of people living with HIV – increasing awareness around HIV and breaking down stigmas.
At Allied for Startups, we continue to witness inspiring startups driving the technological advances in HIV and AIDS care. We will remain actively engaged in advocating for startup-inclusive policy environments to ensure these life-saving innovations can make a positive impact.