An infectious disease is a clinically evident disease resulting from the presence of pathogenic microbial agents, including pathogenic viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, and aberrant proteins known as prions. Infectious diseases are usually qualified as contagious due to their potential of transmission from one person or species to another. Transmission may occur through diverse pathways such as contaminated objects, airborne inhalation, sexual contact or through vector-borne spread.
In this review, we collate 25 clinically useful human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) – related Web sites to facilitate efficient access to online resources according to themes of clinical inquiry: (1) comprehensive clinical information, (2) opportunistic infections, (3) antiretroviral drug interactions, (4) care of HIV-infected women and children, and (5) continuing medical education. We evaluated these Web sites for clinical content and quality using criteria including the currency of information, inclusion of references, sponsors, whether the site is useful in resource-limited settings, ease of navigation, and content specific for each theme. Using the specified criteria, we provided overall ratings for each Web site. We conclude that the Web sites listed in t his review can help extend knowledge about best practices and provide real-time patient care support to clinicians.
Douglas Krakower, Candice K. Kwan, David S. Yassa, and Richard A. Colvin
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA