Sam is a 13-year-old boy living in Johannesburg, South Africa. Sam is a busy kid, who likes playing with his friends. Sam is also HIV-positive, and receives antiretroviral therapy (ART). However, he doesn't always remember to take his medicine, and sometimes he remembers but he doesn't want to - it's annoying to always be bossed around by family and doctors when he feels fine.

Sam is one of 1.8 million HIV-positive children worldwide, and one of half a million children under 15 living in South Africa and India - two of the biggest middle-income countries with large populations of HIV-positive children. About half of these children have access to HIV treatment, but of these children, adherence to treatment regimens is only about 36-63%. Lack of adherence is due to a variety of factors: child forgetting, refusing, or vomiting without re-dosing, long distances to travel, incorrect dosing by caregiver, confusion between multiple caregivers, and problems of disclosure, particularly fear of disclosure because of HIV-related stigma.

V-Fend seeks to dramatically improve health outcomes for children living with HIV by providing consistent, rewarding reminders to take medication and allowing kids to play fun and educational games that put them in the driver's seat as they battle foreign invaders, fight HIV virus, and strengthen their body's immune system.

What it does

We used SWOT analysis and market segmentation to create a product that targets pediatric HIV patients. The app gamifies the HIV drug adherence experience to educate patients.

How we built it

We built wireframe mockups and graphic designs for the game premises.


Major challenges were acknowledging different pain points and pivoting our solution to better orient the demographic we are targeting.

What's next for V-Fend

While this game was designed to address a need to increase treatment compliance among children living with HIV, the game concept can be applied to a multitude of chronic illnesses to increase treatment adherence in children and even adults.

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