You’re an adult female living in a country with a high HIV/AIDS prevalence. One day a peer educator gives a presentation in your rural village on risk factors for HIV/AIDS and discusses HIV prevention methods. You begin to worry you’re at risk because you regularly have unprotected sex with your male partner. The peer educator says you can get free HIV testing and counseling at the nearest clinic, which is supported by PEPFAR. Unfortunately, that clinic is four hours away.
Like many women in your village, you don’t have your own income source and cannot afford to travel to the clinic. You also don’t feel comfortable or safe traveling on your own, so you forego testing and go on with your life.
A few months later, you start feeling sick and acquire an uncontrollable cough. After a couple weeks of progressively feeling worse, you finally go to the district hospital, where you’re diagnosed with tuberculosis. They offer you an HIV test and you accept, and are tested positive. You feel lost and overwhelmed at the thought of dealing with both HIV and TB, the leading cause of death among people living with HIV.
The health care provider refers you to a PEPFAR-supported care and treatment center in the same hospital. You begin to receive treatment for both TB and HIV, and you’re also given psychological support to help you cope with your diagnoses and new treatment regimens. Thanks to the treatment and support, you begin to feel hopeful about the future again.
This scenario is one of many featured in the Institute of Medicine’s Evaluation of PEPFAR interactive experience. Users are presented with different real world scenarios while navigating through the interactive experience, designed to highlight numerous complexities and barriers people living with HIV encounter as they go through the continuum of HIV/AIDS-related health services.
Users can navigate through the portal as an adult male who injects drugs, an adult male who has sex with men, an adolescent male or female, or even as an 11 year old orphan, among others. For every scenario, users are presented with decisions and real world challenges faced by thousands every day in HIV endemic countries.
The interactive experience also highlights key messages from the IOM’s Evaluation of PEPFAR, released earlier this year.