AIDS: Organizations Plan to Provide Internet Access for Clients
The increasing number of reliable Web sites offering HIV/AIDS information has spurred some AIDS service organizations to take steps to offer Internet access to their clients, the Dallas Morning News reports. One such organization, the AIDS Resource Center of Dallas, plans to set up computers complete with bookmarked Web sites, such as www.thebody.com, which features online question-and-answer capability with some of the nation's leading AIDS experts. Craig Hayworth, the center's information and referral manager, said, "We can get the most up-to-date information as it comes out (with the Internet), and you don't have to worry about the lag time between someone getting something published in a book and getting it distributed and out to us." He indicated that the lag time is often crucial to patients waiting to hear about new drugs offered through clinical trials.
As Steve Burrus can attest, waiting for information can be frustrating. After nine months of waiting to hear if he qualified for a drug trial, he was informed that he did not meet the requirements. He said, "If they had some of that information on the Internet, and if I could have been able to just sit and punch in my T-cell count and other requirements, and then found out then if I was eligible, it would have been a lot easier." Burrus, the development director of AIDS Arms Inc., said that his organization is also making a move to provide Internet access to clients, now that reliable information is readily available. However, both organizations run on tight budgets, making computers and software a lower priority. Hayworth said, "Generally, the grant money that we get provides a very small percentage allowed to be spent on overhead and computers" (Bass, Dallas Morning News, 2/6).