Juanse Hernández and Xavier Franquet of Grupo de Trabajo sobre Tratamientos del VIH (gTt), Barcelona. Image by Caspar Thomson (aidsmap.com)
The NAM team works
hard at these conferences to bring you all the important news. Conference sessions
begin at 8.55am and typically end at 6.00pm. Then there are the satellite
meetings, which can extend the day from 7.00am until 8.30pm.
In amongst this, and on either
side, our editors have to make time to consider carefully the data that have
been presented in the conference sessions, extract and distil the key points
and then write up the news stories
that you see appearing as our conference
We are not alone. Numerous community
opinion leaders, HIV information organisations, specialist journalists and
health correspondents from around the world have been here in Rome working hard to disseminate the exciting
and important news from this meeting.
It’s not surprising
therefore, that as the conference nears its close, fatigue begins to show on
some of the faces in the media room.
The length of the days means
there is also very little time to absorb the culture and sights of the cities
that play host to these conferences. I did manage to catch a glimpse of the
Spanish Steps en route to a meeting in a nearby hotel!
News for the Spanish-speaking world
On the final morning of the
conference I met up, all too briefly, with our colleagues and friends Xavier Franquet
and Juanse Hernández (pictured above) from the excellent Grupo
de Trabajo sobre Tratamientos del VIH (gTt), a community-based treatment
information organisation based in Barcelona.
They had been up until
3.00am filing news stories – La noticia del día
– for their site http://gtt-vih.org but, despite
this, they were still full of enthusiasm!
NAM and gTt have worked together for many years. At the
two big scientific meetings of the year, the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic
Infections (CROI) and either the International
AIDS Conference or this one (they alternate), gTt and NAM collaborate on
the production of daily news
bulletins in English and Spanish which disseminate the important news from
the events as quickly as possible to those who are unable to attend.
Over the years gTt has
developed impressive reach within and beyond Spain. Their website receives over 700,000 visits a
year and they have over 3000 subscribers to their regular news e-bulletins,
many of whom are based in Latin America.
Each day of the conference,
publishing the translated editions of our daily e-bulletin involves several
- News editor Michael
chooses news stories and writes the draft English language edition in Rome and sends it to the team in London.
- Greta (our
sub-editor) edits it, adds links to our news, resources and additional material
from the conference website and imports it into the template for each day’s
- In the meantime Kieran
(our graphic designer) works on the best images to accompany each story.
- Selina (our editorial
team manager) checks the final bulletin.
Once the English-language
edition has been finalised, Greta passes the copy over to Miguel at gTt in Barcelona, as well as our
translators who are working on French, Portuguese and Russian editions. Miguel
works on the translation into Spanish, checks it with his colleagues and
returns a final version to Greta, who then slots the Spanish text into the bulletin
Within just a few hours of
the English language edition being published, the Spanish edition is winging
its way around the world and being read by Spanish speakers everywhere.
Once the bulletins are sent
out to our subscribers, the team
in London work
with Zoë (our communications manager) on other ways of letting people know
about the day’s news – including making
use of social media, like Twitter and Facebook.
Messages to take home
I asked Xavier and Juanse
what their take-home message would be from IAS 2011. “One message is clear,”
said Xavi, “treatment is prevention. However there is a great deal that
has to be discussed and addressed before its potential is realised.” “But now we have an additional weapon,”
Xavier hopes treatment
as prevention will prove a powerful tool to reduce stigma and
discrimination. For people living with HIV, “it is very important for our
self-esteem. It may help us not to consider ourselves vectors of transmission.
This message has to be effectively communicated to wider society and policy
makers too need to embrace this. The proof is here.”
Keep an eye out for gTt’s
non-technical report summarising all the important news from IAS2011. It will
be published within the next month on http://gtt-vih.org
NAM’s daily conference bulletins are available on our
website, as well as being sent out by email. You can find them in English,
Spanish, French, Portuguese and Russian, along with all our news stories: www.aidsmap.com/ias2011
For more translated
material, visit the translations section of our website, which includes patient
information in 17 languages: www.aidsmap.com/translations
We’d like to say a big thank
you to all our translators, who have been working very hard!