Design-Led Solutions Could Transform HIV Prevention For Women

STAT: A makeover for oral PrEP: designing real-world HIV prevention for women
Ann S. Kim, director of health and well-being at IDEO Cambridge and documentary director and cinematographer

“…Time and time again, women have told me they are waiting for a solution that would put them in control of protecting themselves against HIV. … V was designed as an experience ecosystem that supports a woman’s journey, from her initial awareness of HIV to getting tested for it, accessing PrEP, and staying on it. V is meant to feel more like a branded self-care product than a medical treatment. This de-stigmatizes PrEP as a way to lower for women the barrier to taking it. … Input from health care providers, the gatekeepers of oral PrEP, was key. We heard from doctors, nurses, and pharmacists working on the front lines of HIV treatment and prevention that the boldness and vibrancy of the V approach would help them better connect with the women they’re trying to reach. Designers believe that changing behavior starts by designing for a new mindset. With HIV and other afflictions, like addiction, mindsets are defined by stigma. … In a world where women do not always have agency, my hope is that design-led solutions can transform prevention from a source of shame into an empowering ritual of self-care” (12/11).