Thursday, 24 April 2008

PortalSIDA - Spanish and Portugeuse information on HIV and AIDS

The International HIV/AIDS Alliance and AIDSPortal have formed a partnership to develop PortalSIDA, a Spanish language knowledge sharing and networking website for the HIV community in Latin America.

PortalSIDA is the virtual component of a Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) Knowledge Management Centre. It offers Latin American and the Caribbean organisations a place to access and share information about their work on HIV and AIDS and network with each other.

Through PortalSIDA you can:

* Electronically share, organise and access Spanish language information, including policy, best practice, programme experiences, events, and jobs

* Connect people and organisations involved in national responses to HIV and AIDS across Latin America and the spanish speaking caribbean

* Consult and provide feedback on key policy or programmatic topics

PortalSIDA is linked to the AIDSPortal, a global initiative that aims to facilitate greater knowledge sharing and networking among organisations involved in the response to HIV and AIDS. The AIDSPortal initiative develops or adapts simple tools that can support country-led networking and knowledge sharing. This includes the English language tools on AIDSPortal ( and the Spanish language tools ones in PortalSIDA (

The AIDSPortal initiative also links PortalSIDA with other regional initiatives (currently in Southern and Eastern Africa) in order to promote global knowledge sharing, facilitate south-south linkages and enable HIV professionals to identify emerging trends across regions. PortalSIDA will be launched at the International AIDS Conference in Mexico in August 2008.

If your organisation has information in Spanish you wish to share through the PortalSIDA, please send it to or login and upload it after the launch.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

What AIDSPortal users are looking for: results from our survey

In March 2008, AIDSPortal users from 26 countries completed a basic survey on how AIDSPortal can better meet users’ knowledge management needs. 19% respondents were from the UK, 19% from Kenya, 10% from South Africa and 6% from India.

Overall, AIDSPortal users are looking to AIDSPortal for the following key services:

  • Knowing ‘who is doing what’ at a country level
  • Training and professional development opportunities, particularly around online information sharing
  • Opportunities to exchange information, especially content that can be used in the community

With this focus, it makes sense that users are looking for ways to make AIDSPortal easy to use and easily adaptable to their particular needs. This includes being able to personalise AIDSPortal, receive alerts and being able to add information from AIDSPortal to other websites.

While some users would find it useful to receive information by cell phone or fixed phone (25%), 75% of users find receiving an email with downloadable information very important or essential to their work.

Most users feel that services on AIDSPortal should be free (90%) but the services that users would pay for include skills training and being able to place advertisements. The majority of users felt that advertising and sponsored links to useful sites could appear on AIDSPortal (80%) and that AIDSPortal can run surveys and polls in order to fund itself (92%).

AIDSPortal will use these results to guide the technical development of the ‘Next Generation AIDSPortal.’ AIDSPortal is committed to exploring and combining innovative technologies to support people-driven knowledge exchange and strengthened responses to HIV and AIDS around the world.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

New networking features

AIDSPortal is always trying to make it easier for people to use the Internet to more effectively connect with people and resources. A popular feature of the website is the global contacts directory, however anyone who has worked on a contact directory knows how hard it is to keep up to date.

As a member driven site, AIDSPortal has introduced a number of new features that let members not only update their own profiles, but also use other online applications to help others learn about their work.

Login to AIDSPortal and click on 'edit profile' in your toolkit to:

- Edit your contact information (including your user name)
- Change your password
- Write a bit about what you are currently working on or interested in
- Request a new password (if you've forgotten yours)

We've also added some new features to your profile that improve integration with some other popular services:

Skype - Add your skype name to your profile to let people see when you are online and easily call you. One click on the button opens up skype and places the call.

- If you use flickr to publish your photos, you can now add a flickr feed to your AIDSPortal profile. Just go to your photos on flickr and look for the option to 'subscribe to your photos' as in the image below. Click on 'latest' and then cut and paste the url into the flickr box on your AIDSPortal profile.You should now see some thumbnails of your latest photos displayed on your profile. They link back to your flickr page and offer a great way to let people know what you've been up to.

RSS feeds - Do you produce an RSS feed from your own website? Want to share it with other AIDSPortal members? Read on, now is your chance.

If you have no idea what an RSS feed is don't worry. We plan another posting soon to explain more about RSS, what it stands for and most importantly how you can create RSS feeds and use those created by others.

It's now easy to add an RSS feed to your AIDSPortal profile. Just edit your profile and drop in the URL for the feed. You will then see the feed displayed like this. - Do you use this popular social bookmarking website? If you've saved some useful bookmarks on you can now share them with other AIDSPortal members. Simply enter your username on your profile and your 'tag cloud' will be displayed for others to see. This is a great way to share useful websites with other AIDSPortal members. We will feature some of the best bookmark collections in the future and also look at ways to group together people's bookmarks to see which websites are most popular.

Organisation profiles

Finally, a brief word on organisational profiles. As a member, you can now also become an organisation moderator. This allows you to directly edit and add to your organisation’s profile on AIDSPortal. You can update contact information, add a summary of your organisation’s work and your logo – helping you get the word out about who you are and what you are doing.

Contact us if you'd like to request this.