AIDSinfo Releases HIV Drug App

HIV is a complex disease in how it affects our bodies, and people living with HIV can have complicated medication schedules that include varying doses of different drugs to be taken at different times. Currently there are over 100 HIV-related drugs in existence. Managing HIV with medication can be challenging in large part because compliance and adherence are of crucial importance — failing to stick to a medication regime can have destructive results, including becoming resistant to a drug.

With this in mind, our friends at AIDSinfo have released the AIDSinfo Drug App which provides a wealth of information on more than 100 HIV-related drugs, both approved and those still classified as investigational. One of the app’s most useful features is the option to schedule regular alarms as reminders to take any of those drugs.

The medical information in the app, offered in English and Spanish, is presented to meet the needs of both healthcare providers and consumers. The app also comes with automatic medical information updates and refreshing when the device in use and connected to a cellular network, though it also works offline.

App features

The app is essentially one big database of HIV-related medication with detailed information about each one, including the FDA label and patient-specific information. This database can be accessed online too. Users can search amongst the drugs by name, type and other information, bookmark frequently referenced drugs for easy access at any time and add notes to the drugs’ entries in the app. The pill reminder function helps people manage their drug regime by scheduling recurring reminders for each dose. The AIDSinfo Drug App is available for both iOS and Android devices.

YTH interns Londi and Erin both tried the app out and shared their thoughts.


Erin’s Take: iPhone

When opening the app, I first noticed you can select whether to use the app in English or Spanish, which I like. It makes it a lot more accessible to the over 35 million native Spanish speakers living in the US.

The glossary is very in-depth and can be searched easily and it seems to literally be like having a library in your pocket! You can just use the search bar to find something, or use the Picker feature, where you put in a letter and a term. You can also select the “Random’ button, which generates a random term.

The title of each term has a sound button, so you can listen to the name as well as read it, which is very helpful in terms of learning the correct pronunciation. The definition of the terms are very simple and easy to understand and there’s a really good balance of information and accessibility, so you don’t need a science degree in order to understand the definitions. The app also shows you related terms to the one you’re looking up, which is very helpful when dealing with scientific jargon!

I wish the app had more color and detailed graphics though, as almost everything is just in black and white. Having pictures to accompany the glossary terms, or even just creating more colorful buttons would make the graphics more interesting.

I also couldn’t find the features that allow you to add notes or bookmark specific drugs.

Overall though, I think this app is very useful and a great tool for learning about HIV-related drugs.

Londi’s Take: iPad

I used the app on the iPad and found that it was perhaps a little more colorful than Erin’s experience, with muted pink, teal, purple and blue gracing the menu, as well as images of most drugs accompanying their written descriptions.The notes and bookmark functions worked perfectly fine on the iPad. I found the app easy to use after playing with it a bit but I would not say that it is totally intuitive. My guess is that many HIV-positive baby boomers would need a quick lesson from their medical provider (or from their kids!) on getting used to using it.

On the whole, this is an easy and highly functional tool for providers working with HIV+ clients and for people managing HIV with medication.

You can download the app for free for iPhone and iPad from iTunes, and for Android from Google Play.

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