I became acting editor of NAM's highly-respected and influential monthly newsletter in October 2003, after contributing features for more than a year, and became its permanent editor in January 2004.
After more than five years and 50 editions, the January/February 2009 issue was my last as editor.
When I became editor, AIDS Treatment Update's reporting was known to be impartial, trustworthy, authoritative and reliable. However, it was perceived by some people with HIV to be somewhat dry and inaccessible. I began by tweaking its language and style to reflect its readership, and then started refocusing the content on broader concepts of HIV-positive health. In 2005, I oversaw a major redesign and relaunch to make the newsletter even more accessible and appealing.
The changes and redesign had a very positive impact according to our 2006 readers' survey (with an extraordinary 11.5% response rate). Of those respondents who had been readers prior to October 2005, and who expressed an opinion, 99% found the new look ATU easier to navigate, 96% found it more appealing to read, and 94% found it more trustworthy since the redesign. Furthermore, 93% of readers said that they find ATU useful in helping them make decisions about their health and treatment, and 56% discuss the information they read in ATU with their clinician.
The majority of the articles in ATU are written by myself, but I also include contributions from experts in their field when required. Each month, the main articles are reviewed by a panel of leading HIV experts and people living with HIV.
The newsletter, which has provided HIV treatment and care news analysis to people living with HIV and healthcare professionals since 1992, has consistently responded to the changing nature of the HIV epidemic. Consequently, it changed its title in January 2008 to HIV Treatment Update to better reflect the realities of living with HIV in the UK today.