In an effort to help combat the ever-evolving AIDS epidemic plaguing South Africa, EON Reality Tshwane’s VR Innovation Academy students were tasked by the City of Tshwane Health Department to create an HIV/AIDS awareness VR application.

The students were given creative freedom over the product with the direction to inform people of all ages, genders, races, and creeds of the dangers and lifestyle changes that are associated with HIV infections.. Members of the City of Tshwane Health Department — who served as both the main subject experts and potential future clients — were in constant communication with the students from inception up until they presented the completed applications.

In order to help expand South Africa’s use of AVR technology and bridge the country’s digital divide, Tshwane students decided to deploy the application on several of the latest devices (such as the HTC Vive and Samsung Gear VR). This opened the application up to as many users as possible within the South African market.

The application, known as “90³ Lifestyle” works hand-in-hand with the city’s 90-90 strategy, which aims to diagnose 90% of all HIV-positive people, provide antiretroviral therapy (ART) for 90% of those diagnosed, and achieve viral suppression for 90% of those treated by 2020.

Not only is 90³ Lifestyle viewed as a tool for the prevention of HIV and AIDS, but also as a proof of concept to widen its approach to tackle other diseases (Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Meningitis have all been mentioned as future possibilities).