In the hopes of decreasing the number of cases and increasing HIV testing and treatment, a local scientist formulated a mobile game application tackling everything about HIV including the misconceptions surrounding it.
The app, named as Battle in the Blood (#BitB), is reportedly a puzzle-like, turn-based combat mobile game aiming to debunk beliefs like HIV diagnosis is the dead end when in fact it can be treated.
Worked on for a year, #BitB is highly customizable according to the user’s preference from gender (man, woman, transgender, etc.) to hairstyles and outfits.
The player will journey across eight HIV patients and their stories through 90 levels of battles with HIV and its army. Stories are presented in a dynamic 2D comic book Manga-style animation.
“The problem here in the Philippines is the stigma and the lack of information on HIV, especially among the MSMs (males having sex with males). They are afraid to undergo testing. They don’t want to go to clinics because they are afraid of the possible results,” developer Emmanuel Baja told The STAR.
A recent study from the Department of Health revealed around 56,000 Filipinos are currently infected with HIV, and a huge chunk of it is from the 15- to 24-year-olds who engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse and MSMs.
Barja, an associate professor at UP-Manila, added, technology is one of the most effective ways to combat HIV misconceptions and encourage those affected to seek proper measures.
The game is a collaborative project of UP-Manila and a team from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom, which also stood as the app’s monetary sponsor.
“We want the public to know that there are medications for HIV. It is chronic like diabetes and that you can still live a normal life if you take your medicine and observe healthy lifestyle,” he added.
#BitB will be available for free starting Nov. 26 on both Google Play and Apple Store, while the official launch will be on World AIDS Day, Dec. 1.
Story first appeared here.