SITE VISIT: Portal for AIDS Info

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Science  25 Sep 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5385, pp. 1919
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5385.1919a

The AIDS epidemic has sparked a flurry of activity on the Web, from sites aimed at patients to AIDSLINE, the government's database of AIDS research abstracts. InSite, launched last year by AIDS researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, helps Internet surfers navigate this info, billing itself as “a gateway to AIDS knowledge.”

Jeff Stryker, one of the site's editors, says InSite aims to improve on government AIDS Web sites, which he says are “good” but “tend to be a little clunky.” The site flags a huge range of material, from news on drug studies to audio reports on the 12th World AIDS Conference last summer in Geneva. One central offering is the AIDS Knowledge Base, a textbook on HIV treatment and prevention that includes chapters updated since the book's last printing in 1994. InSite's Trials Search taps into ongoing clinical AIDS drug trials. One can pull up the latest HIV statistics by U.S. city, peruse country AIDS profiles, or read the United Nations' 1998 report on AIDS. The site's staff members also write news features, including a recent interview with Margaret Johnston, the new head of the National Institutes of Health's AIDS vaccine research effort. And they craft frank responses to queries—including one on the risks of contracting HIV from a lap dancer.

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