Role of the Untitled AIDS Primer . The Untitled AIDS Primer website attempts to exploit the full potential of the internet as a tool for AIDS education, prevention and policy formulation. Instead of being comprehensive, the Untitled AIDS Primer website focused mainly on the databases of internet sites that were developed by major research, educational, government and international institutions that are actively involved in the fight against AIDS.

Target Audience and Goals. The current Untitled AIDS Primer targets, as a primary visitor, a literate lay person who is just beginning to explore topics about HIV and the AIDS epidemic. Thus, the text is very basic. The technical terms in the text are usually hyperlinked to provide the visitor more details or basic information about a technical term used. Other resources, e.g., dictionaries and encyclopedias, are included here also to assist in understanding the "language of AIDS". And when available, graphics and illustrations are included to enhance understanding of very complicated data or topics. [View for example, the animated slide presentation from CDC, used in the Introduction of the Untitled AIDS Primer website.]

The underlying principles and philosophies that motivated the creation of the Untitled AIDS Primer are discussed in " Untitled Why this page? " of Untitled Treasures of the Internet . More specifically, the Untitled AIDS Primer website plans to achieve the following goals:

Untitled (1) Develop an AIDS database (archive) website
    The worldwide resources, databases and scientific literature on HIV/AIDS are just so vast already and expanding almost exponentially. Thus, it is unlikely for any single individual, organization or institution to have all the resources to be able to keep pace and provide a comprehensive and up-to-date AIDS database in a single website. This limitation is apparent in the content and focus of even the most comprehensive AIDS databases, such as UCSF HIV InSite, UNAIDS/WHO, CDC, US Census, etc.

    The Untitled AIDS Primer website intends to be the archival AIDS database that aims to integrate these dispersed resources and steer visitors to the most reliable and up-to-date sources of AIDS information that are available in the internet. The goal is to create a highly hypertext Untitled AIDS Primer database website that complements, rather than compete with well-known AIDS websites, like UCSF HIV InSite, UNAIDS, CDC, US Census, etc.

    Unlike other major archival database compilations, the AIDS databases presented in the Untitled AIDS Primer were archived systematically into subtopics (see left navigation section) and indexed alphabetically (see top A-Z navigation). Hypertext linking is used extensively also within each page to provide additional key database resources within each subtopic, to related subtopics and to the various sections of the Untitled AIDS Primer and related websites. Thus, the visitor can jump almost seamlessly from one topic to related topics or to other sections entirely, even if the linked internet sites may in reality be contained in very dispersed internet websites all over the world. This highly hyperlinked archival presentation is more effective than those downloaded through a "search" of specific AIDS topics.

    Also, within each AIDS subtopic, the linked internet sites are not arranged alphabetically, as is normally done in other archival sites, but more thematically to serve specific target audiences (e.g., basic information for laypeople; sections for caregivers, policy makers, researchers, etc.); or presented in hierarchy to emphasize internet resources that are deemed to provide the most relevant or comprehensive information about specific AIDS topics.

Untitled (2) Develop an Untitled AIDS Primer (International)
    A long term goal is to adapt the contents of the Untitled AIDS Primer to reach defined target audiences of the AIDS epidemic -- "vulnerable groups" (including young people), health care workers, policy makers, people living with HIV/AIDS -- especially those in less developed countries (LDCs). Towards this goal, there would be a need to translate the contents to the various languages or provide systematic compilation of internet resources written in the major languages.

    The existing Untitled AIDS Primer presented here is a "demonstration prototype" of a future AIDS database with a more ambitious goal: the creation of an Untitled AIDS Primer (International) . This will require collaboration with local institutions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in other countries, so that the contents of the Untitled AIDS Primer can be adopted and tailored to reach and provide the most comprehensive, reliable and up-to-date AIDS information to specific target groups in individual countries. [Visit Untitled AIDS Primer (International) for more discussion about this goal.]

Untitled (3) Reaching the target audience
    Another long term goal is to integrate the Untitled AIDS Primer into related health and biomedical sciences internet databases being developed here as well as more general internet databases, e.g., " Untitled Treasures of the Internet " that are visited by internet viewers searching for other general interest information. This deliberate "advertising" of the AIDS database in more general internet sites increases familiarity with the Untitled AIDS Primer website. This increases the chance that target audiences, especially lay people, are likely to visit the site, if they are motivated to know more about AIDS. Also, because of the way the Untitled AIDS Primer has been systematically arranged and hyperlinked (see goal #1 above), it is more likely that the visitor will encounter or be steered to visit related AIDS topics sites with the least amount of effort and time searching. This increases the chance of providing as much reliable and up-to-date AIDS information to the captive visitor. Other related reasons, in reaching the target audience of the AIDS database, are discussed in goal #4 (see below). The more philosophical reasons for this seemingly simple goal are discussed in " Untitled Why this page? " of Untitled Treasures of the Internet .

Untitled (4) Saving time.
    Saving time for its visitors is a major objective of a well-prepared database website. In the information and internet age, so much is time is wasted searching for desired information.

    While search engines or archival databases, can accelerate the search for the desired information, there is no assurance that the result of such searches or compilations are indeed accurate, reliable and up-to-date. There is even a possibility that the results coming from commercial search engines or database archives have commercial undertones, i.e., steer the visitor preferentially to internet sites that have commercial ties with or that paid advertisement fees to the commercial search engines or database archives. The latter not only can waste time, but can lead to incomplete information or outright misleading information meant to achieve commercial gains. The latter can have serious repercussions, especially when it involves health-related information.

    Unlike other comprehensive archival databases, the Untitled AIDS Primer focused mainly on the databases of internet sites that were developed by major research, educational, government and international institutions actively involved in the fight against AIDS. This ensures that the information provided to the reader are as accurate and up-to-date as possible. As important, the linked internet site databases from these sites are more stable; thus minimizing the time wasted in visiting "dead sites", common in many comprehensive archived databases. Careful screening of the linked sites also minimizes inadvertent secondary linking to pornographic sites, common in many commercial internet sites that explore human sexuality.

    Saving time in the Untitled AIDS Primer also meant minimizing the incorporation of seemingly innocuous website design and presentation gimmickry (e.g., "mouse overs", flashing words, Flash presentations, overuse of Javascripts, etc.) that do not add much to further understanding of the information presented.

The above goals cannot be realized by a single individual, organization or institution. To help achieve these goals, we invite serious volunteers, especially from other countries, to help build the database of this site so that it will become more useful for specific target groups in their respective countries.