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Monday 08 November 2010


iPhone public toilet app will help HIV+ people

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News, HIV
By GayNZ.com Daily News staff - 29th July 2010

toilet.jpg
A soon-to-be-launched iPhone guide to the locations of New Zealand's public toilets will be a welcome resource for people with HIV, according to two leading HIV positive support advocates.

New Zealanders with HIV, the vast majority of whom are gay and bisexual men, have long suffered from chronic diarhoea as a side effect of the toxic medications they must take to stay alive. People with Crohn's disease and colitis are similarly afflicted.


The just-launched Crohns and Colitis New Zealand organisation is developing an iPhone application to direct people with urgent bowel movements to the nearest public toilet. The app, to become available in approximately a fortnight, will combine iPhone and GPS systems to give instant directions.


"What a neat idea," says Ray Taylor, an HIV positive Christchurch man who has mentored many people with HIV in the 25 years since the epidemic hit New Zealand. "Most people with HIV suffer the indignity of having to rush to the nearest toilet time and time again," he says. Taylor knows of many "unfortunate accidents" befalling men with HIV, including a situation where a person he knows of could only "rush to a public rubbish bin, drop his pants and squat... I'm absolutely certain people with HIV will use it... it's just a shame that the organisation funded to support people with HIV didn't come up with this!"


"What an amazing concept... I totally support it," says HIV positive activist Jonathan Smith of Auckland. "It will be particularly useful for travelers and people away from their home areas... we all tend to know where we can dash to on our home turf but further afield all bets are off," says Smith, who travels frequently within New Zealand and overseas.


The Crohns and Colitis New Zealand website will soon also include maps of toilet locations. Currently the only national guide to the country's toilets is contaned in a section of the
Automobile Association website, with downloadable maps which can be useful when planning a trip. Some local body websites also provide addresses for toilets in their regions.



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