Welcome to the new aidsmap.com and welcome to our blog!

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New look, new tools and easier to use - we’ve completely redeveloped aidsmap.com to help you to find the information you need. Please take a look around! We’re all very excited about it - but it’s still a work in progress. We would love to hear your thoughts on the changes we’ve made so far and any other improvements you think we could make.

Over the coming months we will be using this blog space to introduce you to the new website and explain the processes and thinking that have been going on behind the scenes to get it up-and-running. It’s always a hive of activity here at NAM so we’ll also be sharing tips we learn along the way, thoughts on things that interest us and of course making lots of requests for your help to keep NAM and aidsmap.com evolving.

So where did it all begin?

Glossary

range

The spread of values, from the smallest to the largest. The inter-quartile range (IQR) only includes the middle 50% of values and measures the degree of spread of the most common values.

drug interaction

When a person is taking more than one drug, and drug A interferes with the functioning of drug B. Blood levels of the drug may be lowered or raised, potentially interfering with effectiveness or making side-effects worse. Also known as a drug-drug interaction.

HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND)

HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) describes the spectrum of neurocognitive dysfunction associated with HIV infection. HIV can enter the central nervous system (CNS) during early stages of infection, and persistent CNS HIV infection and inflammation probably contribute to the development of HAND. Cognitive impairment in people with HIV is not necessarily due to HAND; other possible causes include alcohol or drug abuse, depression, anxiety, vascular cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.

Since aidsmap.com was originally launched over a decade ago in 1998 (see below), it has become one of the world’s leading HIV information websites. The vast databases of news, information, conference reports and global listings of HIV and AIDS services are visited over 4.5 million times each year, by people affected by, or working with, HIV from all over the world.

But in 2010, a website is about much more than simply providing content; it is also about supporting users to engage with the information, collaborate and share.

Listening to your feedback, it became clear that we needed to address some key issues in order that aidsmap.com continued to be a valuable resource into the future. Ongoing research and developments mean that HIV and AIDS information is changing all the time. The range of resources that NAM produces to reflect these developments has grown and expanded. The current website hosts this vast hub of information but the existing structure has to work hard to keep up. Feedback suggested that content was getting harder to find and took longer to get to. Improvements were needed. Advances in technology have also offered NAM the perfect opportunity to develop aidsmap.com into a truly global, interactive hub for quality information on HIV and AIDS.

So what’s new about aidsmap?

Well, in a nutshell: fresh design, new tools, deeper content, easier accessibility and more interactivity. But one thing you can be sure hasn’t changed is our commitment to our values of independence, accuracy, and clarity and to delivering the highest quality information on HIV.

Whether you are a regular visitor to the website, or are visiting for the first time, we hope you find the new aidsmap.com easy to use. Integral to the redesign has been making sure that you, the user, are absolutely central in our thinking. We have completely restructured the information on the website – moving away from only arranging information by publication, to also categorising it more logically by topic. We hope the new, simpler navigation and improved design helps you on your journey through the website and provides you with quick and direct access to the information you are looking for. And if you’re not sure exactly where to look for specific information on aidsmap.com, there’s now a powerful site-wide search engine to help. We have also introduced a new grading system to all our information according to level of detail - ranging from basic to very detailed - to help you quickly identify the most appropriate information to answer your questions.

We have also developed two fantastic new tools – the e-atlas and the news 'aggregator' (news from other sources) - to offer an enriched, personalised experience of the information at aidsmap.com and from across the web. Our unique news aggregator service will help you keep abreast of the extensive range of HIV-related news from across the world. As well as continuing to write original news reports, our team will also hand-pick news from other sources, making them available each day so you can find everything in one place. The e-atlas portal offers the opportunity to access the latest locally relevant HIV information, news, patient resources, and evidence base wherever you are in the world - as well as the chance to share and network with others. There are also lots of ways you can build in your preferences across aidsmap.com and customise the website.

When we began this project, our vision was to develop a website that was continually shaped by its users – and we hope we are on our way to achieving this. The new aidsmap.com now gives you more opportunities to interact with the website, and with other users. The website is much more intelligent - actively guiding you through the website and suggesting associated or popular resources based on the pathways of others. So your journey through the website today will help provide a richer experience of aidsmap.com for others tomorrow. But there’s a lot more to do!

So where is aidsmap going now?

This is your website. We want it to be shaped by you and its development will be guided by what you need in the face of the changing epidemic. It is very much a beta site that we hope, with your help, it will continue to evolve. You can get involved by giving us your feedback and your ideas here. Read more about how to get involved with NAM’s work here.

Thank you

We would like to thank all our funders for helping get this vital project off the ground and making aidsmap.com 2.0 a reality. Also all those who kindly offered us their expertise along the way, and all those who have generously donated their time so far to help test the site. We couldn’t have achieved so much without your support – so on behalf of everyone at NAM and the website's present and future users – thank you!