Model portrayal above.

We're on a mission to improve PrEP awareness, linkage to appropriate prevention services, and appropriate persistence on PrEP medication, focusing on Black 

individuals and Hispanic/Latinx MSM living in the South


1st Place Prize:  $15,000 usd
"Team Love - On Point"

(Pip Petersen, Panyaphon Phiphatkhunarnon, Alex Garner)

2nd Place Prize: $8,000 usd


(Aileen Jiang, Tang Liu)

3rd Place Prize: $5,000 usd


(Johnny Edwards, Juan Carlos Riascos, Douglas Wilson)


Runners-up: $1,000 usd


(Naomi King, Rameses Frederick, Jequel Wilkes, Desiree Mcclain)

Runners-up: $1,000 usd

"UNCHacks - PrEPared"

(Mason Boyles, David Williams, Rikhil Fellner)

Event Overview

Sexual health and HIV prevention are often under-discussed and de-prioritized by both people who can benefit from PrEP (PWBP) as well as the healthcare community. 

The reasons are multi-factorial and include provider discomfort, stigma among providers and PWBP, distrust of the healthcare system, societal norms related to sexual health discussions, personal beliefs, and competing priorities.

So how do we normalize sexual health and HIV prevention conversations? And more specifically, how do we better identify, educate, and support appropriate individuals who may benefit from proven HIV prevention options such as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)?

The CDC estimates that 1.2 million people in the US would benefit from PrEP. However, only 25% are currently using PrEP, with another 25% being people who stopped using PrEP, and the remaining 50% have never used PrEP. *

There are multiple reasons for poor PrEP uptake, including but not limited to lack of education and awareness, stigma and biases, and administrative barriers to access; and PrEP uptake is disproportionately low among specific populations including Black individuals and Hispanic/Latinx MSM.​

*Gilead Commercial Analytics, Prep Performance Monthly Tracker and CDC Estimates;

The Issues

For this hackathon, we’ve identified four major obstacles, or pain points, keeping appropriate people who may benefit from PrEP (PWBP) from taking the steps needed to protect their sexual health: ​

Low awareness of PrEP benefits and/or low health literacy​

Lack of essential support of healthcare providers within the communities they serve​

Existing digital tools not as effective as they could/should be

Lack of access and low ability or desire to stay on PrEP when clinically appropriate

What are we looking for?

We encourage exploration and innovation across a diverse set of solutions. Your solutions/concepts and/or prototypes could be any of the following…

Mobile/Desktop Apps

Virtual Reality/

Augmented Reality

Social Media/

Communication Tools​

Big Data Solutions (Database/Datasets, Data Analytics)

Software Development Kits (SDKs)

Admin Portals with healthcare focus (privacy features built-in)

AI, Bots/Chatbots

Your concepts and solutions are required to acknowledge:

Whom are your solutions going to help?

  • appropriate people who would benefit from PrEP (PWBP)
  • men who have sex with men (MSM)
  • Black individuals, Latinx
  • people ages 15-24 and ages 24-35
  • people residing in the Southeast region of the U.S. 
  • healthcare providers caring for these communities, focusing on helping them to overcome the pervasiveness of HIV-, LGBT-, sex-related stigmas and healthcare system distrust

Glossary of terms

  • MSM = men who have sex with men
  • PrEP = Pre-exposure Prophylaxis
  • PWBP = people who would benefit from PrEP


$30,000 total prize pool amount USD


Accessible & Sustainable

$ 5,000 USD

The Winning Team in this Category will receive $5,000, to be divided equally amongst team members.


Healthcare Support

$ 5,000 USD

The Winning Team in this Category will receive $5,000, to be divided equally amongst team members.


Wildcard / Existing Tech Enhancement

$ 5,000 USD

The Winning Team in this Category will receive $5,000, to be divided equally amongst team members.


 Education & Awareness

$ 5,000 USD

The Winning Team in this Category will receive $5,000, to be divided equally amongst team members.

Best in Show Across all Categories

$10,000 USD

The Team to have the highest scores and the Judges' approval for Best in Show will also receive an additional $10,000 USD, in addition to their winnings of $5,000 as a Category finalist.


Please review the following four (4) Challenges and select the one (1) you feel will exercise your skills and expertise in a creative and innovative way.

Challenge Statement #1:

Improve Education and Awareness for appropriate Black and Latinx​ People Who Can Benefit from PrEP

For this challenge, how can you use technology to help appropriate people who could benefit from PrEP (PWBP) learn about and become engaged in HIV prevention? How do we make talking about sex, HIV, and PrEP socially acceptable in the Southeast where conversations about sex and sexuality are too often seen as taboo? Stigma plays a critical role in preventing those who might benefit from PrEP from talking about sex among their peers or the healthcare community. Further, even when PWBP are aware of the benefits of PrEP, they don’t always see PrEP as being for them, and too many go without when clinically appropriate.

Use technology to help Black and Latinx people in the South not just learn about PrEP but also empower them to know when and how to take action to protect themselves and their communities. These solutions should do all or some of the following:​

  • Help appropriate people who could benefit from PrEP easily recognize what PrEP is, who it is for, and to self-identify as being a potential PrEP user​
  • Encourage the sharing of information about HIV prevention and PrEP among peers and social groups​
  • Encourage and empower potential PrEP users to contact someone within the healthcare community (e.g. a provider, a pharmacist, a case worker) once they’ve identified as someone who could benefit from PrEP ​

Challenge Statement #2:

Make it easier for appropriate Black and Latinx People to Start and/or Stay on PrEP​ for clinically appropriate periods of time

Many factors can make it challenging for appropriate people who may benefit from PrEP (PWBP) to receive prevention services or PrEP. Not only do PWBP need a non-judgmental trusted healthcare provider with knowledge about PrEP, but they also need a means to get to that provider (physically or virtually) and a way to do the necessary follow-up (e.g. HIV/STI testing, laboratory monitoring). Also, knowing where to get PrEP can be half the battle. Research has shown that having a social support system can significantly improve adherence and persistence to medical interventions like PrEP.

For this challenge, how can you use technology to help appropriate PWBP get and stay on PrEP for clinically appropriate periods of time? These solutions should do all or some of the following:​

  • Give PWBP in the south an easy way to find accessible PrEP providers (including ways to get tested for HIV and other STIs and to do the necessary laboratory follow-up that comes with PrEP)​
  • Account for transportation as a potential barrier for some PWBP (e.g. may include telehealth options)​
  • Encourage PWBP to regularly self-assess if they can benefit from PrEP, and how to safely start, stop, or re-start PrEP if appropriate ​
  • Help PWBP without insurance navigate linkage to PrEP, providers, or laboratory facilities (or connect them to healthcare navigators)
  • Create human or technology-based support systems to help appropriate PWBP to learn about and stay on PrEP for clinically appropriate periods of time (e.g. connect potential PrEP users to in-person or virtual communities of PWBP or use chat-bots to encourage adherence to PrEP regimens or provider visits)

Challenge Statement #3:

Make it easier for the Healthcare Community to Support and Empower appropriate Black and Latinx People to protect themselves with PrEP

The health care community has many competing priorities when it comes to treating and preventing disease. Sexual health and HIV prevention are too often de-prioritized, especially among primary care providers. People who can benefit from PrEP (PWBP) are not being proactively educated about it or those with the means and courage have to first educate their providers about PrEP in order to get them to prescribe it. Having sexual health conversations can be a daunting task for some providers, making it difficult to identify PWBP. On the other hand, there are members of the healthcare community who want to talk about and provide PrEP but face difficulty in reaching and getting buy-in from the people who can benefit from it the most.​

For this challenge, how can you use technology to help the healthcare community deliver PrEP care to appropriate Black and Latinx PWBP. These solutions should do all or some of the following:​

  • Help the healthcare community more easily identify appropriate PWBP​
  • Educate the healthcare community about PrEP, how to approach sexual health conversations in bias-free, non-judgmental ways, and give them the tools to do so or give them alternative tools to identify risk without “uncomfortable” conversations​
  • Help the healthcare community get buy-in from PWBP who might initially be reluctant to see how PrEP can benefit them ​when it continues to be clinically appropriate
  • Make it easier for the healthcare community to follow-up with PrEP users, identify lapses in adherence, and re-engage PrEP users who may have unexpectedly stopped taking PrEP
  • Make it easier for the healthcare community to provider PrEP in virtual, remote, or on-site locations​

Challenge Statement #4:

Enhance or Modernize an existing HIV Prevention tool

Many tools and resources already exist to help PWBP learn about and  link to prevention services or PrEP. Websites, advertisements, risk identification tools, PrEP provider locators, online forums, electronic health records (EHRs) and telemedicine platforms have all played a role in the last 10 years, but not enough progress has been made. Black and Latinx communities continue to experience disproportionately high HIV transmission rates with disproportionately low PrEP utilization.​

Use a state-of-the-art enhancement to modernize or update an existing HIV prevention tool that addresses one of the objectives of the previous three challenges. These enhancements should:​

  • Make the tool/resource easier or more desirable to use among appropriate Black and/or Latinx PWBP​
  • Make it easier for the healthcare community to identify and engage those who might benefit from PrEP​

Pre-Hackathon Schedule

Monday | May 2nd

Registration Opens: Hackathon registration officially begins!

Challenge Overview Webinar #1 (Virtual via Zoom):

Tuesday | May 10th, 2022 at 3:30 PM (EST) 

Hackathon Overview, Challenge Review, Use Case Videos, Team Formation, Tips on How to Win a Hack and Submit a Project / Presentation

Led by BeMyApp/Gilead Sciences

Challenge Overview Webinar #2 (Virtual via Zoom):

Tuesday | May 24th, 2022 at 4:00 PM (EST)

Led by BeMyApp/Gilead Sciences (VIDEO REPLAY AVAILABLE)

Registration Closes: Saturday | June 4th at 10:00 AM (EST) 

Registration Submission Review & Attendee Confirmation:

Event Organizers to contact Registrants for attendance confirmation

Tuesday | May 10th

Tuesday | May 24th

Saturday | June 4th

Thursday | June 2nd

thru June 4th

Hackathon Schedule

Hackathon Day 1: Check-in will be begin at 8:00 AM (EST). The venue will close at 10:00 PM (EST).

Saturday | June 4th

Hackathon Day 2: Hacking will resume at 8:00 AM (EST) and event concludes at 6:00 PM (EST) following the winner’s announcement and closing remarks.

Sunday | June 5th

Following registration, BeMyApp will send you a detailed event schedule for the on-site hackathon on June 4th - 5th!

Event Logistics

Downtown Atlanta, Georgia / MARTA Rail System

(Participants will be responsible for the costs of their travel and lodging.)

The Event Sponsor and Organizer will abide by CDC and State and Local COVID-19 guidelines for hosting private, in-door events. In addition, we ask all attendees who are not vaccinated to wear a face covering (i.e. mask) and social distance where permitted. Any participants who want to wear a mask, should be encouraged to do so. Sponsor and Organizer reserve the right to make changes to the COVID-19 Guidelines for the Hackathon at any time, as needed.

COVID-19 Policy:

Judging Criteria

Judges will rank each eligible entry based on 4 Criteria: Impact, Innovation, Relevancy and Awareness. Impact will be weighted 20 Points and Innovation, Relevancy and Awareness will be scored on a scale of 1-10 each, for a maximum of 50 cumulative points. The cumulative scores will be averaged to determine the final score for all eligible teams.

IMPACT (20 Points)

  • How helpful or useful will the solution be to impacted customers / users / communities / businesses / etc?​
  • Can success be measured?​
  • Is the solution scalable and/or adaptable to other geographies/cultural settings?​
  • Is the solution possible, or just nice in theory?

INNOVATION (10 Points)

  • Is this a unique approach or new type of solution?
  • Is the solution differentiated from others already on the market?
  • Is the solution original and disruptive?

RELEVANCY (10 Points)

  • How relevant is the solution to the challenge?
  • How applicable is the solution to the challenge?

AWARENESS (10 Points)

  • How effectively does the solution promote PWBP and healthcare community knowledge of PrEP and prompt PWBP to take further action?​
  • How relatable/engaging is the solution to the priority population of PWBP? 

Event Judges

Sean Howell

Co-Founder, Chairman & President

Michael Rodriquez

Founder & CEO

Metro Lattice, Inc.

Jeff Nelson

Co-Founder and CTO, Blavity Inc.

Dennis Israelski

Executive Director, Medical Affairs

Gilead Sciences, Inc.

Fernando Bognar

VP, Medical Affairs

Gilead Sciences, Inc.

David D. Fletcher

Senior Manager, Global Life Science Solutions Architecture, Amazon Web Services

By participating in this Hackathon, you will:

Add marketable skills to your resume

Network with fellow developers/students/like-minded tech individuals

Engage with mentors and experts in the field of technology and HIV prevention

Gain exposure and understanding around HIV Prevention and the real challenges facing PrEP

About the Sponsors

At Gilead, we’re committed to creating possible. For more than 30 years, we’ve pursued the impossible, chased it down, tackled it for answers and surrounded it for a way in. We have worked tirelessly to bring forward medicines for life-threatening diseases.

Through bold and transformative science, we’re creating possibilities that have the potential to become the next generation of life-changing medicines. Our ambition is evident in our mission. Because the impossible is not impossible. It’s what’s next.

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