What you think about HTU now, and for the future

This article originally appeared in HIV Treatment Update, a newsletter published by NAM between 1992 and 2013.
This article is more than 11 years old.

Many thanks to all of you who responded to our readers’ survey this year. We’ve received lots of useful feedback, comments and suggestions.

This year we were particularly interested to hear how you get your information on HIV-related topics, how you prefer to get it, and what you value (and dislike) about different methods of information provision.

We’re aware of the need not to be complacent about HTU in its current format. We wanted to explore, amongst other things, how a change such as a move to an electronic version of HTU would be received. That’s for two reasons.

One, as you might expect in the current environment of economic restraint, is cost. It’s cheaper to produce and distribute an electronic document and it would free up resources to use elsewhere.

But the other reason is that technology is moving fast and many of you are moving with it. Some of the newer options for receiving information, such as mobile phone applications, may actually work better for some of you.

In this survey, you told us clearly that you like the print version of HTU – and many of you will be relieved to hear that we’re not proposing to change HTU from a print publication to one that is only available electronically at present.

But you were also clear in many cases that this is a preference, rather than a necessity: 78.5% of respondents use the internet daily and another 15.4% at least once a week; 88.9% have access to the internet at home, with 30.2% able to go online via a mobile phone. And 77.5% of you felt very comfortable (58.1%) or comfortable (19.4%) with using the internet to receive information about HIV.

We won’t forget that online information and electronic communications don’t work for everyone, but the survey results suggest that we could make HTU content available in new ways you might welcome. We’ve starting this process already by, for example, including feature articles from HTU as part of our news pages on aidsmap.com.

Perhaps most importantly, your survey responses suggest that HTU is still an important source of information for you. We asked what you particularly valued:

“The expertise. I would not believe everything I read except from this source.”

“The tone and level of technical terminology are pitched perfectly to enable in-depth engagement with a topic without getting out of your depth with scientific jargon.”

“Its impartiality and objectivity.”

Just over a quarter of respondents felt they had learnt something vitally important from HTU, and 65% something useful. You particularly valued information on new and changing treatments, side-effects, adherence, hepatitis C co-infection, mother-to-baby transmission, ageing and healthy living.

Just under 80% of respondents felt better equipped to take decisions regarding their treatment and care; 61.8% were more likely to discuss their health and treatment with their healthcare team; and 66.9% felt more confident in doing so. 43.6% of people responding had made a change to their treatment, or taken another decision, based on information from HTU.           

Thank you again for letting us know your views, and for letting us know we’re still meeting your needs:

“I like to be kept informed and this publication does that very effectively, in one place, in an easy to read and digestible format.“

We welcome feedback on any of NAM’s resources at any time, so if you have comments or suggestions, do be in touch. You can ring us on 020 7837 6988, email us at info@nam.org.uk, write to us at NAM, Acorn House, 314-320 Gray’s Inn Road, London, WC1X 8DP, or use our Contact us page.