Foxes and Planes

How Frog Design uncovered the importance of public perception in combating HIV in South Africa.

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Poptech Project Masiluluke by Frog Design is a system for combating HIV in South Africa that includes education, awareness and a way to do self testing to determine your status.

What makes this project great is that Frog Design discovered one very important insight. It’s that designers need to acknowledge that people have facades, and public perception is often a barrier to adopting new behaviors.

They discovered for instance that one of the biggest barriers to combating HIV in South Africa was actually getting the men to get tested. And the problem with that was that the men did not want to be seen waiting in line at a clinic, because even being seen there would be harmful to their public persona. So they began to think about ways of shifting the public to the private which included partnerships with local telecom agencies, the design and development of an at home testing kit for HIV and private access to resources and education.

Often to our own detriment, we care more what others think of us rather than what is good for us.

See also this similar case study in Zimbabwe about safe spaces for STD education.

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