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STDPO at 10

STDPO News on November 01, 2017 at 06:56:12 PM

A Word From the Editor

STDPO at 10

Ten years ago today, we launched STD Prevention Online (STDPO): a networking site for STD professionals that aimed to form a web-based bridge between the different disciplines that comprise the STD workforce: basic scientists, epidemiologists, clinicians, disease intervention specialists, and other public health workers.

The site was initially developed by the Denver Public Health Department and Adelson Consulting, funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After the grant ended in 2009, the site was financially supported by the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association (ASTDA) until 2012.  Currently, STDPO is maintained by Rietmeijer Consulting with in-kind contributions from ASTDA and the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA). Specifically, I like to mention Zoltan Borsodi, ASHA’s webmaster who has been very helpful in trouble-shooting the site over the past few years.

While I have an intellectual interest in the site and while I continue to oversee its editorial content and integrity, it is important to stress that the site was initially conceived and still functions as a sharing platform for anyone with an interest in STD prevention and willing to sign up (at no cost).  True, the site is ageing and really could use a software update to bring it into the third decade of the 21st  century, for which, alas, funding is lacking.  Still, the functionality of the website has shown remarkable resilience and all the main functions are still in tact, including uploading and downloading of resources in variable file formats, blog posting and commenting on content posted by others. In fact, over the past 10 years, hundreds of members have contributed to STDPO and I sincerely hope that they will continue to do so in the future.

One potential, currently underused, function of STDPO is the “publication” of papers and reports. I stumbled on this idea some time ago when a paper I authored was rejected for publication a second time (believe me it happens to the best of us!). It was a “methods” paper of a study I have been involved in regarding the etiology of STIs in Zimbabwe. While we didn’t have issues in getting the major outcome papers published, there was an apparent lack of appetite for a manuscript detailing the study’s methods.  Perhaps not unexpected, but I still thought this descriptive paper was useful, if only as a background manuscript for the outcome papers. Thus, I posted a PDF of the manuscript on STDPO, which gave me an open-source, online reference for the other papers (have a look if you like at this link). I am encouraging STPDO users to consider this as an alternative to the infamous drawer where a lot goes in but nothing comes out…

A popular feature of STDPO is the STDPOdcast, a still growing series of audio interviews with established and up-and-coming leaders in our field. To celebrate our 10th anniversary, I have posted 3 recent podcasts: the first with ASTDA president Dennis Fortenberry and president-elect Bobbie van der Pol on ASTDA initiatives for young investigators; the second with David Harvey, the Executive Director of the National Coalition of STD Directors on the upcoming NSCD meeting; and finally a talk with Derek Freedman and Henry de Vries on the 2018 World Congress of the International Union Against Sexually Transmitted Infections (IUSTI) next June in Dublin that I hope many of you will attend.

Please visit www.stdpreventiononline.org to listen to these podcasts and find other resources.

Meanwhile, as always, please let me know what you think; either by posting on STDPO or by sending me an email.

All the best for a happy Holiday Season.

Kees Rietmeijer

Editor, STD Prevention Online.

Email: info@stdpreventiononline.org


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