i-sense HIV Online Pathway project (within the EPSRC-funded i-sense IRC) to investigate user needs for support for self-testing and engaging with care, enabled by novel digital tools. Innovations in testing techniques (based on advanced nanomaterials) have now reached a point where it is realistic to offer HIV tests that can - at least in principle - be self-administered. However, these tests raise questions such as: given the complexity of the condition and its management, how can people be supported in correctly interpreting data, and how can care pathways be reconfigured to accommodate new ways of testing? In parallel, developments in social media are creating new styles of social interaction and new ways to share information about themselves. Given the stigmatised nature of the condition, how can people be given appropriate emotional support, and have effective ways of managing their online identity, such that their online and offline lives are complementary?
The aim of the project is to design a novel, digitally-enabled care pathway that will be tested with sexual health professionals as well as people in at-risk groups, based on the findings from ongoing studies.