The Positive+1 platform has launched globally after more than eight years of research, planning, and development. The app is an ‘all-in-one’ social network that serves the HIV community, with over 20,000 pre-registered members already.
Positive+1 is available for download today in the USA, UK, Canada, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. It provides not only a social hub for the HIV community, but also a resource center where they can find informative materials such as drug interaction charts and local support networks.
The launch represents not only a significant step forward for community-building within the HIV community, but also the culmination of years of development that ensures the platform is equipped for the task.
“It feels surreal to say we’re finally here. This has been almost a decade in the making and I’m extremely proud of what we have achieved. A resource like Positive+1 is going to make a difference to so many people, on so many levels”, said Christian Mercer-Hall, Founder & CEO of Positive+1.
The social platform has secured £300,000 in funding in 2023, with £640,000 already secured for 2024. It has also forged partnerships with relevant charities and advisors including; Terrence Higgins Trust, George’s House Trust, Saving Lives UK and National AIDS Trust.
The platform provides some health benefit too, addressing the issues of isolation and loneliness with the HIV community.
“Without doubt Positive+1 is a much needed and valuable resource for the HIV community. The isolation and stigma still associated with HIV infection can be a real problem for many people living with the virus. The importance of having a place online where you do not feel alone, and can interact with others living with HIV cannot be underestimated”, said Dr. Steve Taylor, Medical Director of Saving Lives UK & Lead Consultant, Birmingham Heartlands HIV Service.
This loneliness and isolation can be attributed to society’s misunderstanding, intolerance, and lack of education about HIV.
“For a community that continues to receive a bad reputation and high levels of misunderstanding, I hope Positive+1 is the beginning of a new era for HIV, connecting the community in a way that has not been possible before”, Mercer-Hall explained.
Looking to the future, the platform’s Head of Communications, Lyle McAdam, shared that “Conversations are already underway to continue building out our platform’s expansion – with other locations firmly in the works for 2024/2025”.
Positive+1 launches today, available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Find out more about the platform on its website here.