Advertisement

Montreal researchers develop HIV self-testing app

HIVSmart! is a confidential software app that was developed by a team at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Centre universitaire de sante McGill

A group of Montreal researchers have developed a smartphone and tablet app that they say could help people to detect HIV through self-testing.

Researchers from the McGill University Health Centre and a Montreal health clinic tested the HIVSmart! app among 451 people during a study that took place in 2016 and 2017.

Watch below: World’s first HIV-positive spa opens in Toronto

Participants were given a saliva-based self-test and a tablet with the app, which guided them through the process of performing and interpreting the test, storing results and connecting them to care.

Story continues below advertisement

The researchers concluded that the app-based process was “accepted and feasible” for the participants and has the potential to promote increased screening in populations that run a high risk for HIV.

READ MORE: HIV ‘outbreak’ in N.S. continues to rise as awareness week kicks off

Because at-home HIV self-tests kits aren’t yet approved in Canada, the participants took the tests in a clinical setting and the results were confirmed with a blood test.

The World Health Organization has recommended countries implement self-testing strategies as a way to reduce the number of people living with undiagnosed HIV.

Sponsored content