July 31, 2018
Written by Mariel Kanene
This past week, I had the opportunity to attend the 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018), a key milestone on the road to a world without HIV. The conference converged in the city of Amsterdam, and convened more than 16,000 researchers, advocates, policy makers, funders and development leaders. As part of a series of pre-conference meetings, Fraym, was invited by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), to present a case study on how geospatial data can help address the 90-90-90, an ambitious treatment target to help end the AIDS epidemic.
Fraym CEO @Leo_Benjamin kicks off #AIDS2018 Pre-Conference Meeting Day 2 w/ @PEPFAR // Ben presents case study on #Uganda using @fraym_io Data and Geospatial mapping to help improve HIV testing Outcomes in Men #globaldev pic.twitter.com/2AgPVRENhc
— Mariel Kanene (@MKanene) July 21, 2018
According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), in 2017, approximately more than 40 million people globally were living with HIV. Among people living with HIV, three out of four (75%) people knew their status, and four out of five (79%) who knew their status were accessing treatment, and for those accessing treatment, four out of five (81%) were virally suppressed. With this background, understanding the 90-90-90 targets, is to understand why the task of eradicating this epidemic seems highly ambitious. Without the right investments in research, technology, innovation and advocacy, the HIV epidemic will continue to spiral out of control, as Devex reports.
By partnering with PEPFAR, Fraym demoed an inspiring example of “Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges” – the theme of AIDS 2018. Specifically, PEPFAR tasked Fraym to present early findings of how geospatial data can be used to drive efforts toward reaching the 90-90-90 targets for at-risk Ugandan young men. Incorporating several elements of how Fraym works with companies and investors to find target customers, size market potential, and optimize distribution and marketing campaigns, Fraym CEO, Ben Leo, presented on how this type of analysis can help find at-risk young men and improve progress towards the first 90. Fraym’s analysis illustrated the power of triangulating with rich population surveys and mobile phone data to identify and locate concentrations of specific at-risk groups. Pairing Fraym’s hyperlocal population data with mobility data observed over time – provided PEPFAR and its partners a completely different level of insight into how to find at-risk men and encourage HIV-testing.
By applying a human geography for development lens, Fraym presented some very preliminary findings that might speak to lifestyles, behaviors, and other characteristics that may help with targeting. With further engagement, through PEPFAR and its partners, we hope to continue to deepen this segmentation analysis specifically for at-risk young men, looking at many other characteristics such as asset ownership patterns, diets (as lifestyle proxies), housing, and other factors. Fraym has found that there’s very few issues we can’t overcome through our data collection methods. Each dataset collected meets demanding standards of quality, reliability, and comparability, and is then painstakingly integrated into the Fraym database – resulting in over 2,000 unique indicators and distinct characteristics down to a 1km level, including access to services, education, consumption, transportation, electrification, and among others. By capturing granular data from the best surveys and satellite imagery from every country in Africa, our platform is capable of producing insights in a fraction of the time required for new data collection.
The work to end the AIDS epidemic is no minor feat and cannot be carried out alone. It requires broader global health and development efforts, along with new methods and investments to continue fighting for a world without HIV. Working with PEPFAR and its partners, Fraym has the capability to even further profile and segment 90-90-90 targets for all ages, genders, and at-risk groups, demonstrating what can be achieved by using data to spur innovation and accelerate progress toward an AIDS free generation.