International Bulletin - Spring 1997
Electronic AIDS conference brings latest information to health workers
An ongoing global electronic AIDS 'conference' has begun as a low-cost forum for worldwide exchange of information on the Spread, treatment and prevention of AIDS.
The electronic conference, called Program for Collaboration Against AIDS and Related Epidemics, or ProCAARE, operates 24 hours a day using the Internet and other computer-based communication technologies. The project is a collaborative effort among AIDS researchers from Harvard University, the European AIDS Commission, the Uganda Viral Research Institute and the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences. It was created by Satellife Inc., an NGO based in Boston, Mass., that provides electronic communications and information services to health workers in developing nations.
Dr. Richard Marlink, a co-director of the project, said it would provide a crucial link for sharing AIDS related information, especially to developing countries. For example, one of the first requests received when ProCAARE began posting information in February was from a doctor in Pakistan's Ministry of Health seeking advice on HIV home-care services.
"A day later, he got a response from Puerto Rico with a report on their home-care project," said Dr. Marlink. "And the next day, he received a similar response from Zambia." For developing countries, where regular mail service is slow and telephone calls expensive, the electronic conference provides unlimited access.
The conference, which can be subscribed to at no charge by any interested researcher, clinician or health practitioner, will be carried over Healthnet, Satellife's computer-based network of health professionals in 30 countries. The system provides access eight times a day to the Internet for literature searches, for access to medical libraries and for sending and receiving messages. Satellife has established these links at no cost to developing countries. Healthnet charges a small monthly fee to each subscriber site to help defray local costs.
ProCAARE can be reached at http://www.healthnet.org/procaare.html
Last Modified: June 05, 2010