New CD-ROM distills HIV/AIDS information for developing world

Windows and Mac compatible disk features more than 40 selected chapters from the HIV InSite Knowledge Base

The Center for HIV Information at the University of California, San Francisco, is releasing a free CD-ROM containing more than 40 selected chapters from the HIV InSite Knowledge Base, an online collection of comprehensive, in-depth HIV information that is widely respected as one of the most authoritative sources of HIV information in the world.

"We have chosen the chapters that are most broadly applicable to HIV care in a variety of settings around the world, including those with limited resources," says Paul Volberding, MD, chair of HIV InSite's editorial advisory board, chief of medicine at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, and professor and vice-chair of medicine at UCSF.

"This represents the first free textbook on HIV/AIDS that is available in the developing world," adds Mark Vogel, MA, HIV InSite project manager and associate editor of the CD-ROM. "It will be useful for clinicians, policy makers, AIDS service organizations, and patient advocacy groups worldwide."

The disk makes its debut on August 13 at the 2006 meeting of the International AIDS Society in Toronto, where it will be available at the CHI booth. Copies will also be available through agencies that do in-country AIDS/HIV training and by individual request.

The disk is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems. Its contents cover a wide range of topics about HIV, including natural science, diagnosis and clinical management, transmission and prevention, clinical manifestations, and associated malignancies.

"This CD-ROM will be a powerful tool for physicians and other clinicians, particularly in the developing world where internet service is slow, unreliable, or unavailable," says Volberding.

"Anyone with access to any computer that has a CD-ROM drive will have a self-contained, comprehensive knowledge base at their fingertips," adds Vogel. "No internet connection is necessary."

Each chapter has been reviewed and, if necessary, revised by its original author to ensure that the CD-ROM contains up-to-date information. Chapter authors are experts who are active in research, patient care, or policy, often in combination. Most hold faculty appointments at internationally recognized centers of HIV learning. They receive no financial compensation for their contributions.

The online version of the HIV InSite Knowledge Base is housed on HIV InSite (http://hivinsite.ucsf.edu), the flagship CHI website. The site receives 30,000 page views per day and more than 400,000 unique visitors per month. "We hope that the CD-ROM will be a useful introduction to the Knowledge Base and other HIV InSite resources for clinicians who might not already be familiar with the site," says Vogel.

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SFVAMC has the largest medical research program in the national VA system, with more than 200 research scientists, all of whom are faculty members at UCSF.

UCSF is a leading university that consistently defines health care worldwide by conducting advanced biomedical research, educating graduate students in the life sciences, and providing complex patient care.


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