In the lead up to this summer’s AIDS2020:Virtual (International AIDS Conference 2020), we initiated the ahead hackathon from July 3rd to July 5th 2020. The goal was to create new, innovative ideas and find solutions to solve the most pressing challenges of the young generation globally. It was a great success. 

More than 350 attendees from 20 countries participated and worked together in groups in order to design their very own project ideas in four different pillars. In the end, as there could only be one winner in each pillar, the groups pitched their ideas to a panel of judges. Five and a half months later, we would like to present each pillar’s winners, their project and what they have been able to achieve, so far. This article is the third in a four part series.

The winners of PILLAR 3: KNOWLEDGE, INFORMATION AND MEDIA were the RedLight Team, with their project Digital Means for the Youth. The members of the team are João Ricardo Melo, Gustavo Mendes, Naomi Elgueta, Fernanda Santos, and Diego Ernandes.

The team is currently producing the RedLight App, a “free web and mobile app for young people to get relevant and verified information about sexual health translated into an easy, appealing language”. The app contains quizzes and other consumer content. By doing the quizzes, the user scores points that can later be exchanged for benefits with partners in your local area or with sponsors. 

The systems’ instrumentalization can also be used collectively, when a leader (e.g. teacher

or health professional) brings a group of people together to learn, play, interact and

strengthen their community bonds. Here the app’s media-versability helps, as the content can be displayed on computers and therefore be multiplied via, for example, projectors.

The core idea that makes this project special is to provide reliable and qualified information through easy language in a fun and friendly platform that is accessible to everyone. Also, the gaming approach can raise the engagement of people that are using the app, and those people will eventually propagate this knowledge to their peers. To be able to reach a higher audience, the app will have “dictionaries” and a location awareness, so its interface adapts to the region where it will be used. 

Content will be delivered in Portuguese and Spanish in a first step, but is planned to be expanded after a testing-phase. With the acquisition of partnerships, more valuable resources can be provided for youth globally.

Technological solutions play a key role in tackling the issues of our times. We are inspired by Digital Means for the Youth and hope for its success, as digital solutions have grown significantly in relevance in the age of social distancing. Keep on hacking!