December 03, 2008

NetWellness.org premieres new HIV/AIDS Center for consumers

Web site combines comprehensive expertise from three medical centers to provide vital information for consumers about this crucial health issue

HIV/AIDS Center

In conjunction with World AIDS Day 2008, NetWellness (www.netwellness.org), a highly regarded consumer health Web site, premieres a new HIV/AIDS Center. In this new section of the site, consumers will be able to find a comprehensive resource for HIV and AIDS that ranges from prevention and screening for those who are HIV negative, to treatment, tests, and complications concerning those who are living with HIV and AIDS, with particular information for women and children who are HIV positive.

The information reflects the medical expertise found at the three academic medical centers operating NetWellness: Case Western Reserve University, The Ohio State University and the University of Cincinnati.

The site highlights original feature articles written by an interdisciplinary team of faculty from the three partner institutions and links to many high-quality Web sites including to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and AIDSinfo. This direct to consumers approach from a team of university experts is rarely available online.

This new HIV/AIDS Center is particularly significant in light of an August 2008 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that there are significantly more new infections in the United States than previously thought. This underscores the importance of preventive information strategies. It is estimated more than one million people in the United States, and almost 40 million people worldwide are currently living with HIV. Cutting across all boundaries of sexual orientation, gender and ethnicity, HIV is the third most-deadly disease for women in the United States, and is the leading cause of death among African-American women between the ages of 25-34 years.

One reason for the Center's creation was NetWellness' support of the World Health Organization's effort to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS with science-based, unbiased content written for consumers.

Earl Pike, Executive Director, AIDS Task Force of Greater Cleveland emphasizes the Center's significance, "In the last decade, advances in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment have been significant, but this has also meant that people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS need to keep up on those advances in order to maximize health and well-being. The new HIV/AIDS Center at NetWellness is a significant new resource that helps address that need—giving consumers reliable, accessible, and easy-to-access information and links that can translate into longer, and better, health."

With NetWellness receiving more than 12 million visitors annually from an international audience, Daniel B. Ornt, M.D., Vice Dean for Education and Academic Affairs, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine observes, "NetWellness provides a confidential and anonymous source for people, regardless of their status, to get specific information they need about the wide range of HIV-related issues directly from HIV experts."

Celebrating 13 years on the Internet, NetWellness (www.netwellness.org) was one of the first consumer health Web sites on the Internet, and remains advertisement-free. NetWellness is a non-profit, Web-based consumer health and education resource created in response to the growing trend of a public turning to the Internet for information about health and medicine. It is designed to give consumers single-point access to current health information encouraging prevention, empowering personal health decision-making and enhancing the doctor-patient relationship. The site incorporates many features including information on hundreds of topics, current health news, an extensive health encyclopedia and an Ask an Expert feature where users are able to question faculty experts from the three universities obtaining individual responses. More than 500 medical professionals donate their time through both writing articles on many of the health topics, and by responding to questions sent to the site's Ask an Expert feature.

Susan Wentz, M.D., Director of NetWellness at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine said, "With all the heath information available today, it is vital that the information is accessible and presented in a way that people can understand, use in their own lives."

About Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Founded in 1843, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is the largest medical research institution in Ohio and 15th largest among the nation's medical schools for research funding from the National Institutes of Health. Eleven Nobel Laureates have been affiliated with the school.

The School of Medicine is recognized throughout the international medical community for outstanding achievements in teaching and in 2002, became the third medical school in history to receive a pre-eminent review from the national body responsible for accrediting the nation's academic medical institutions. The School's innovative and pioneering Western Reserve2 curriculum interweaves four themes—research and scholarship, clinical mastery, leadership, and civic professionalism—to prepare students for the practice of evidence-based medicine in the rapidly changing health care environment of the 21st century.

Annually, the School of Medicine trains more than 600 M.D. and M.D./Ph.D. students and ranks in the top 25 among U.S. research-oriented medical schools as designated by U.S. News & World Report Guide to Graduate Education. The School of Medicine's primary clinical affiliate is University Hospitals and is additionally affiliated with MetroHealth Medical Center, the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, with which it established the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University in 2002.

For more information contact Christina DeAngelis, 216.368.3635 or Jessica E. Studeny, 216.368.4692.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, December 3, 2008 11:18 AM | News Topics: Collaborations/Partnerships, Community Outreach, Faculty, Healthcare, Provost Initiatives, School of Medicine, news

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