AIDS on the Info Super Highway
Finding Your Way Around on the World Wide Web
Current, private, and immediately accessible, World Wide Web sites provide a convenient and seemingly endless source of information for people interested in HIV disease and mental health issues. However, sorting through the dozens of AIDS sites can be a daunting task. Perhaps the best way to approach "surfing" for HIV related information is to find a few sites that provide consistently high quality, well-organized, and frequently updated material. Usually these sites contain "links" to other sites with complementary information that surfers may access at the click of a mouse. This article identifies a few of the most complete and easy-to-use sites.
The Body is an excellent resource that houses information on HIV prevention, treatment, legal issues, financial planning, mental health and women's issues. There are several guest experts - from a minister to a marathon runner -- who write columns on topics ranging from spirituality to physical fitness. An interactive question-and-answer feature enables visitors to direct queries to medical experts who then post responses.
The Body also collects hundreds of articles and fact sheets form a variety of reputable sources including the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), AIDS Treatment News, The Body Positive, the American Psychiatric Association, AmFAR, and our own Women Alive Newsletter.
A recent sampling of topics included: "Nutrition and Immune Function," "Choosing a Therapist When You're HIV Positive," " Depression and HIV," and "Dealing Practically with Assisted Suicide." The Body also pays attention to artistic expression, including photography, poetry, and an electronic AIDS memorial.
The UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS)
The UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies web site describes the organization's ongoing prevention research and contains an array of fact sheets on HIV-related prevention research and topics in both English and Spanish. These contain general information about condom use and HIV prevention intervention efficacy and specific fact sheets that address the prevention needs of a range of populations including women, gay men, African Americans, Latinos, homeless people, sex workers, and substance users. The site also provides a comprehensive list of links to other prevention-related sites (The CAPS site address is http://caps.ucsf.edu/.)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National AIDS Clearinghouse contains a storehouse of information, ranging from HIV-related epidemiological data (including its HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report) to a glossary of HIV-related terms & fact sheets that can be downloaded from the site. Also posted at this site is the CDC's AIDS Daily Summary, which includes abstracts of articles from major U.S. publications. (The CDC site address is http://www.cdcnac.org/.)
In addition, the CDC sponsors the HIV/AIDS Treatment Information Service (ATIS) which provides material on federally approved treatments for HIV disease and includes links to other treatment and public health sites. Another Public Health Service-sponsored site is the AIDS Clinical Trials Information Service which catalogs HIV-related clinical trials including new trials open to enrollment and trial results. (The ATIS site address is http://www.actis.org.)
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) web site-the JAMA HIV/AIDS Information Center-is an excellent resource for scientific information. The "Journal Scan" section reviews HIV-related articles published in a range of international journals related to virology, epidemiology, patient care, and psycho social issues. The site also archives HIV-related articles form JAMA, contains la link to the National Library of Medicine AIDS Database, and houses an advice column. The "Globalink" section provides excellent connections to international AIDS sites, and the site also contains an annotated and eclectic list of other links. (The JAMA site address is http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/collection/hiv_aids.)
ARIC: AIDS Research Information Center housed at the web site of the Critical Path AIDS Project is geared toward empowering people with HIV disease and making medical information accessible to lay people. The ARIC site enables users to access information specialists who will assist in HIV research for free. The site also includes an index of on-line AIDS resources from a variety of categories: academic, government, publications, news groups, & alternative therapies. (The ARIC site address is www.critpath.org/aric; the Critical Path site address is www.critpath.org/.)
Many print information providers post their publications on the World Wide Web. Among these are: GMHC Treatment Issues (www.gmhc.org/), the Bulletin of Experimental Treatment for AIDS (BETA) (www.sfaf.org/beta.html), Project Inform Perspectives (www.projinf.org/pub/pip_index.shtml), and AIDS Treatment News (www.immunet.org/atn). AIDS Treatment News runs another web site (www.aidsnews.org/index.shtml#home) that serves as an Internet Directory, a no-nonsense and massive assortment of links to other web sites. Although this listing is not annotated, it provides an excellent starting place for the ambitious browser.
Women Alive is "on-line". If you need help finding treatment information on the web, make an appointment to come by the office. Call our treatment advocate, Marilyn Howell: 1.800.554.4876. She can help you to use the Internet at Women Alive.
This article was provided by Women Alive. It is a part of the publication Women Alive Newsletter.