Testing: Explaining HIV/Aids playfully

Love Land App aims to inform teenagers about taboo subjects such as sexuality and HIV/Aids through playing. Karin Stierlin is developing this app with her organization taboobreaker. Next week girls and boys of different ages are examining an early version of the app at Newlands Clinic. In the following interview, Karin Stierlin explains how crucial testing the app is and what result she is expecting.

Ruedi Lüthy Foundation: How important is your cooperation with Newlands Clinic?
Karin Stierlin: Very important! Love Land App is dealing with subjects such as sexual and reproductive health. Society treats these subjects like taboos. Finding partners who want to work on our project is therefore challenging. Our cooperation with Newlands Clinic provides the ideal testing opportunity. Both parties are interested in working together in the future - great potential for our app.

RLF: What challenges might come up throughout the testing working with teenagers?
KS: We want to test our app with as many candidates as possible who differ in age and education or having different cultural backgrounds. Furthermore, what makes it difficult is the language: our prototype is English. Some of the participants do not speak English. Therefore, we will have to work with translators. The playing experience of our candidates might be interrupted.

RLF: How do you address these subjects to teenagers? It’s difficult, isn’t it?
KS: Teenagers are open-minded and curious about topics concerning sexuality. I know this thanks to my work background. The problem lies with the adults who are acting as gatekeepers. That is why we designed our program from the beginning just for teenagers and not for public schools or public educational institutions. We plan to reach our target group with ambassadors and other relevant partners.

RLF: What do you want to accomplish with the testing?
KS: I want teenagers to give me clear and multifaceted feedback. We will then have a concrete idea of what methods and contents we need to change in our app. And we are also eager to know if our concept is going down well.

RLF: What is your goal in general with your app?
KS: Teenagers must get an overall sexual education. I am not just talking about knowledge but also communicational skills and the ability to make decisions. Top priority while developing the app is creating a land full of adventures where teenagers are learning playfully.

RLF: How relevant is HIV/Aids for Love Land App?
KS: HIV/Aids is a global subject. Our app aims to reach all teenagers around the globe. That is why HIV/Aids is relevant and treated in different contexts. For example, we are focussing on prevention but also stigmas and how to deal with an HIV diagnosis.

Karin Stierlin plans to finish the beta version of the app until the end of April. The app is then going to be tested in bigger test groups and undergoes several studies. Visit Karin Stierlins website taboobreaker for more information.

Photo by taboobreaker