Changing the Stigma Narrative: Digital Identity Management Tools for Women Living with HIV in the UK

Timeframe: 2017-2020

This PhD research, led by Kiersten Hay, investigates the use of digital technologies by women living with HIV in the UK in relation to identity, and how digital tools/services could improve wellbeing. With a focus on community-based participatory research methods, this project has involved a range of local and national organizations that support women living with HIV, including Blue Sky Trust, National AIDS Trust, and the 4M Network.

In our initial investigations, we have examined the peer support journey of women living with HIV in Newcastle and its potential for digital interventions; investigated individual experiences of using a national peer-led digital network for peer mentorship; and observed stakeholder engagements within the design and development of a digital tool for supporting people living with HIV. We are currently working with the findings from these initial studies to explore how design interventions may help improve wellbeing through identity creation, expression and management tools/platforms for women living with HIV.