The Maghreb and Middle East region (MENA) on which the ACACIAS project is deployed presents an alarming HIV epidemiological situation. Unequal access to health care results in non-access to the right to health by a majority of the population. In the MENA region, HIV inequities are particularly pronounced especially for those at risk, who make up the majority of the population affected by the epidemic. Living conditions are extremely difficult for these populations. Many patients do not have access to treatment or end up interrupting their treatment due to geographical distance, lack of support and support (medical and psychosocial), but also because of socio-cultural barriers and discrimination. According to UNAIDS reports, while over the last decade a majority of the world's countries are managing to reduce the number of new HIV infections, it has increased by 35% in the MENA countries.
In this context, providing access to a digital tool that provides access to clear and appropriate information on HIV is essential and offers an opportunity to reduce inequalities in prevention and control. Thus, digital technologies prove to be an extraordinary way to give access to this information and to promote the empowerment of individuals.
In this sense, the ACACIAS project aims to reduce these inequalities through the use of innovative solutions offered by digital tools. The adaptation of the application Life4me+ was based on a diagnosis of the needs and expectations of potential beneficiaries in order to adapt a digital space of information, guidance and support based on confidentiality, anonymity and non-judgment. The project also intends to play a role in strengthening civil society organizations and supporting advocacy around Human Rights.
The implementation of this mobile application in the MENA region intends to encourage the engagement of populations exposed to HIV by allowing its users to recognize their treatment and to control side effects and precautions for use. The application will notably provide updated pieces of information related to treatment and thus help reduce the gap in knowledge for a better quality of life populations. This app will also map the quality services available in the area. It will then be possible for people to identify service centers (particularly in terms of sexual and reproductive health, gay-friendly centers...) closest to them through the geolocation function.