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Learning from digital health in curtailing coronavirus epidemic: review of HIV/AIDS mobile apps or chatbots in Nigeria

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BACKGROUND: The HIV/AIDS epidemic has led to death of over 32.7 million people since its first reported case in 1981. More than 37.9 million people are living with HIV/AIDs presently of which 1.9 million reside in Africa's most population nation, Nigeria. Digital health interventions have played a lot of roles in curbing this epidemic; however, its effects have not been fast enough or adequate in developing countries such as Nigeria. From this stance point, this study aims to review and identify high quality HIV/AIDS mobile applications and chatbot in order to aid development of effective and efficient coronavirus mobile apps and chatbots for use in developing countries.
METHODS: A systematic search for HIV/AIDS mobile applications or chatbot was conducted using Google and Google Play store using search words such as 'HIV', 'AIDS', 'HIV/AIDS'. The quality of all relevant apps or chatbot available for use in Nigeria was rated using the Mobile App Rating Scale.
RESULTS: A total of 245 applications or chatbot were identified through the search; however only 58 relevant ones were found. Majority of the apps or chatbot were focused on sex education (39.6%), sexually transmitted infection (8.6%), HIV/AIDS testing (13.7%). Only 7 high-quality applications or chatbot were identified after the screening and in-depth content analysis. Majority (6) of these high quality applications were developed by international organizations.
CONCLUSIONS: This study has shown that only about 12% of relevant HIV/AID mobile apps/chabots available for use in Nigeria are high quality and this might be responsible for the slow pace in curbing this epidemic. Learning from this, more high quality mobile applications and chatbots need to be developed to combat the spread of the COVID-19.