Did you know that mobile is now the leading digital platform, with smartphones and tablets accounting for 60 percent of the total time spent on media in the United States? This dramatic growth, according to comScore’s U.S. Mobile App Report, has been driven primarily by app use, which makes up 52 percent of overall engagement with digital media. Importantly, it’s not all fun and Facebook happening in the digital sphere; many smartphone users have found their way to health care apps. In particular, new media has changed the overall scope and access to information for those living with HIV.

The HIV Testing Sites & Care Services Locator reports AIDS.gov is one of the many helpful apps currently available to those living with HIV… and those who have not yet been tested. (Get tested!) This app uses location-based searching to show users nearby service providers, including testing centers, on a map. The locator app is the result of a collaboration between the Department of Health and Human Services and AIDS.gov.

More than a few apps will describe the basics of HIV for you. Notably, About HIV is a general reference app that will answer many key questions such as, How do you get HIV? What treatments are available? Whether you have been tested positive or just want to learn more about the disease, About HIV explains transmission and raises awareness of signs and symptoms, all while providing facts, news, and videos. More extensively, HIV ATLAS helps users stay current with the latest research by sending news and information bulletins, gathered by a team of volunteers, to nearly a million subscribers daily. While The Body similarly offers news and research, it integrates personal stories and community support with the data. Information is helpfully sorted with special information for HIV high-risk groups.

For those wanting more exchange with others, Facing AIDS is a social media app designed to delete the stigma of what is now a relatively widespread condition. The app allows you to write a brief message about yourself, post a pic, and share your individual message with a general community of those joined together in confronting this disease.

Finally, PozTracker is a much-needed tool for anyone wanting to track the management of their care. The app helps you track medication, monitor test results, and even alerts you when it’s time to take a pill. Importantly, all the data is stored locally on your device, so no Internet connection is required. PozTracker also provides helpful adherence tips to help keep you on track.

A recent study from UC Berkeley suggests mobile health (mHealth) tools increase the number of people linking to care while also helping HIV patients adhere to their strict anti-retroviral treatment (ART) regimens. Why not be among those who use the latest technology to the greatest benefit? After all, they’re called “smartphones” for a reason.