The National Institutes of Health is spending over $1.7 million on a virtual reality game for young men who have sex with men.
“Tough Talks” is a virtual simulation that allows young gay men to practice how to tell their partner they have HIV, using virtual reality technology. A technology training company—Georgia-based Virtually Better, Inc.—as well as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies are creating the game.
Sixty-seven percent of young gay men do not disclose their HIV status to first-time sex partners, according to the grant behind the study. Researchers see virtual reality as a solution.
“Given the potential benefits and challenges associated with disclosure, there is a need for sophisticated interventions that can assist MSM, with the disclosure process,” the grant states. “Virtual reality provides a unique environment for users to practice HIV disclosure.” – READ MORE