Since the beginning of the AIDS crisis, the need to ensure the most comprehensive clinical education for physicians has been a critical element in changing the course of the epidemic. That is no less true today. However, in the emerging landscape of Obamacare, ensuring that doctors are afforded the dedicated level of time needed to develop excellence in their clinical practice is becoming increasingly challenging.
We recently came across what may be a solution to a disparity of this magnitude at the 7th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention this past summer in Kuala Lumpur. ViroChannel (http://virochannel.com), developed from an established medical clinic and center of excellence in Montreal. ViroChannel is a new clinical education and research development media outlet for physicians and others working and involved in HIV. With extensive coverage of the most relevant new data presented at the leading HIV/AIDS and related scientific conferences, the opportunities with this new tool for collaboration to advance our knowledge and understanding of HIV and related viral infections such as Hepatitis C and HPV are endless. ViroChannel provides its members with video clips and articles, where leaders in the field discuss and share their thoughts on late breaking information to aid in collaboration and innovative thought for the development and advancement of clinical competency.
VirocCannel offers provides conference coverage, interviews with leading physicians and researchers discussing the highlights from vital HIV and Hepatology conferences such as the 7th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention, the Conference on Retrovirology and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), Annual Canadian Conference on HIV/AIDS Research (CAHR), European Association for the Study of Liver (EASL) and other leading conferences, which are currently available on the website and as part of their programming. With the great level of HIV and related conferences, this provides a resource for clinicians and care providers- and soon consumers- to acquire the most current, life-saving information.
The proof that this model can work is evident from CROI. It’s been more than a decade since AIDS activists had to fight their way into CROI. Today, while all major scientific meetings receive significant coverage from A&U, Positively Aware, HIV Bulletin, nam, TheBody and POZ, the CROI website, in an act of historical redemption, provides incredible coverage of what is still considered the most important AIDS conference in the world. ViroChannel makes it that much easier to put the information with which we are being bombarded into practice, at the point where it will save lives, ensure that our clinical investigations remain relevant and provide our best scientists, advocates and doctors with the tools they need to usher in the next wave of clinical advances. There is a significant need for medical education and health literacy in the field of HIV, as managing patients has become increasingly complex and the flow of new data is emerging at an increasing rate. It is an important resource for new clinicians entering into the epidemic. ViroChannel’s Community section offers its members forums and groups to discuss issues and articles of their choosing, including the articles published on the site. The structure of the website promotes networking and communication between members and helps to bolster clinical competency in patient care with a steady, streamlined flow of information on current medical advances.
ViroChannel is an excellent source of information dissemination not only to clinicians unable to attend vital HIV scientific conferences, but also for patients, activists and others interested in increasing their knowledge to support important work in the field,” stated Jeannie Wraight, AIDS treatment activist.
The Program section offers information on a variety of topics effecting both physicians and patients. This section includes updates on special populations, which provides insights into treating specific groups such as IV drug users, drug resistant patients and other vulnerable populations. HAART regimen strategies are covered in-depth, as are adverse effects and co-morbidities. As the CDC reported last summer that only 1 out of every 4 people living with HiV in the U.S. are able to achieve durable viral suppression and increasing levels of drug resistance in the U.S. and PEPFAR-partner countries are consistently being reported, ViroChannel may prove to be an indispensable tool for HIV clinicians to reverse this trend by increasing clinical competency and ensuring state of the art developments in treatment are translating into practice.Written by Mariel Selbovitz, MPH