UCT CS Research Document Archive

HIV/AIDS Quality of Life: Information and Awareness

Kisch, Amber K, Warren I Prior and Eric J Savage (2003) HIV/AIDS Quality of Life: Information and Awareness. Technical Report CS03-23-00, Department of Computer Science, University of Cape Town.

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Abstract

This paper details the most significant results of an exploratory investigation into the potential effectiveness of virtual reality (VR) as a therapeutic tool for improving the QOL of HIV-positive patients, whether presence affects the perceived therapeutic potential of the system. The investigation built on the demonstrated therapeutic usefulness for an HIV-positive individual of having a deeper understanding of his or her condition.
The VR educational experience was presented in a virtual human vein. This virtual environment (VE) provided a visual, audible and interactive simulation informing users about the actions of HIV in an HIV-positive individual’s body, the responses of the immune system to the virus’s behaviour and the effects of various stimuli on the activities of the virus. Exploratory qualitative experiments were performed with ten practised HIV/AIDS counsellors from several clinics around the Cape Town area.
In general the counsellors were very optimistic about the therapeutic potential of the system. The results of our tests provide an excellent grounding for future research into the therapeutic potential of the VE with actual HIV-positive individuals.

EPrint Type:Departmental Technical Report
Keywords:virtual reality, HIV, AIDS, quality of life, therapy
Subjects:J Computer Applications: J.3 LIFE AND MEDICAL SCIENCES
ID Code:80
Deposited By:Savage, Eric J
Deposited On:10 October 2003