As MTV is partnering with iCondom to create a location-sensitive iPhone app that will use GPS to locate and show the nearest place to buy condoms. The goal is to make sure that sexually active individuals always have access to condoms. Users can also rate the condoms from 1 to 5 stars and leave tips about additional locations or can notify others if a dispenser is broken. As Zachary Sniderman from Mashable reports, “The app is part of MTV’s Staying Alive campaign, its global youth HIV awareness and prevention effort. The crowdsourced nature of the app encourages a supporting community that can hopefully remove the taboo of buying contraceptives.” Using the community to provide some of the information fosters support and acceptance for these individuals who are at risk.
Will it Help?
According to the Center for Disease Control, “an estimated 1,106,400 persons...in the United States were living with an HIV infection.” Can an app like this even put a small dent in HIV prevention? Some of the comments on the article note that not everyone has or uses a smartphone. In addition, the cost of condoms is often the issue as opposed to the availability. However, the app is a good tool for those who are already committed to engaging in safe sex only.
Images taken from the iCondom video