Monday, July 30, 2007

The AIDS Pandemic - Your Thoughts

Welcome to this installment of The AIDS Pandemic. I’m Dave Wessner.

Last week, I was invited to speak about this blog and podcast at the annual meeting of the American Society for Virology in Corvallis Oregon. Based on questions and comments I received, I’d like to try something a little different with this installment. I’d like to ask for your opinion of this project.

Before getting your feedback, though, I’d like to remind everyone about the genesis of this podcast. I began it during the summer of 2006, just over a year ago. Throughout the fall, students enrolled in my course on HIV/AIDS at Davidson College developed and recorded installments, which we then posted throughout the academic year. Beginning in September, a new group of students will continue this project, recording and posting more interesting installments. My goals for this class assignment were two-fold. First, I hoped that the creation of podcast installments would provide a good learning experience for my students. It would give them an opportunity to explore in detail some aspect of the pandemic – scientific, social, political – that truly interested them. Second, I hoped that the podcast itself would be some benefit to the outside world and, in some small way, increase public understanding of HIV/AIDS.

I can assess the impact of this class assignment on my students. And I am convinced that it is a worthwhile exercise. But I’m less sure how to assess the broader impact of this podcast and blog. That’s where you come in. I’d appreciate feedback from you. Please tell me if you listen to the podcast and/or read the blog. How did you first hear about it? How regularly do you listen/read? What topics have you found most interesting? Is it a worthwhile source of information? Are there things we could do better? Have you ever looked at our AIDS and pop culture website? Is it a worthwhile source of information?

You can email your responses to

Thanks for your input.