This is the current major focus of my research. ARC is an acronym for the ‘asynchronous remote community’ method. Essentially, it’s a method of qualitative analysis devised by Haley MacLeod et al. that is similar to focus groups, but takes advantage of an online platform to gather more rich data, and overcome physical barriers to participation.
We are especially interested to try out the ARC method with individuals living with HIV, because we believe it may be a way to learn about individuals of a stigmatized population more easily. The risk of an unintended disclosure of their disease is minimized, which means that we may be able to get data on subsets of the population who are otherwise hard to reach. The research will not only be valuable for our findings, but also the experiences we have with the ARC method, since it still hasn’t been tested on many populations.
We are also implementing a co-design component, where the participants and the researchers will work together to come up with concepts for technology to support individuals living with HIV. Again, this will provide both information for researchers in the future who wish to attempt similar modifications to the ARC method, in addition to giving us direction for designing technology for our population.