mHealth for HIV prevention: Safer Conception Intervention for Partners


HIV-serodiscordant couples, or couples in which one partner has HIV and one does not, are at high risk of HIV transmission when trying to conceive a child. Safer conception strategies exist, but couples and their health care providers experience challenges in sharing, understanding, and taking action based on various fertility and medication adherence indicators.

As part of a pilot mobile intervention, I led a team of fellow UW students in designing and developing SCIP-APP, a clinic-based tablet application to support HIV-serodiscordant partners and their clinical team in practicing safer conception strategies. SCIP-APP is for use during comprehensive clinic-based safer conception counseling sessions and draws on personalized fertility and medication adherence data. It has the potential to improve couples’ preparation for timed condomless sex; improve clinician-couple communication; and minimize the risk of HIV-1 transmission when trying to have a child with its interactive calendar and viral load tracking.

This pilot has helped 80 couples in Thika, Kenya safely conceive without HIV transmission and is a collaboration between the UW Dept. of Human Centered Design & Engineering, Dept. of Global Health, and the Partners in Health Research & Development.

Investigators: Asst. Prof. Renee Heffron,  Prof. Beth Kolko, Dr. Kenneth Ngure, Dr. Njambi Njuguna, Prof. Jared Baeten, Prof. Connie Celum, Dr. Nelly Mugo & Asst. Prof. Jennifer Unger