Online Tool to Help Break HIV Treatment Barriers


A new interactive online tool will be introduced in New Zealand this month to help people living with HIV overcome a range of treatment barriers and to better communicate with their healthcare providers.

The Unity Tool is an online resource designed by HIV advocacy groups, healthcare providers and GSK/ViiV Healthcare to improve treatment outcomes and optimise treatment beyond control of the HIV virus, by helping the those living with HIV feel more comfortable disclosing their health needs.

People using the tool go through a series of questions and an appointment guide is then created for them which they can take to their healthcare provider for further discussion on areas of concern. The tool helps people to discuss issues that they might otherwise feel uncomfortable to do so face-to-face.

Issues such as general well-being, emotional, social and family life, work life, sex life and suitability of the HIV treatment and its effect on their quality of life are all covered in the questionnaire.


Executive Director of Body Positive, Mark Fisher says “The Unity Tool is an important way to maintain an ongoing dialogue between healthcare providers and those people living with HIV. The online form helps them communicate their general well-being at the same time as asking them to describe their current treatment status.

“With their treatment status outlined, they are prepared to have an informed and engaging discussion with their health care provider to discuss options to improve their wellbeing and to discuss new treatment options, such as the most recently funded HIV medication Tivicay, indicated as one of the first line treatment options by international guidelines which some may not have even asked if they are eligible for.”