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You want me to what with what?

July 23, 2010

As I’ve written before, one of the most challenging aspects of my new job is learning all the acronyms. Not only do you have to learn what they stand for, you have to understand how to use them in conversation and when writing.

Today is the last day of the International AIDS Conference. Many prominent people have spoken there this week including Bill Clinton and Bill Gates, and a few of my co-workers attended.

I just found this article that perfectly describes what I felt the first month working in this new area (and honestly, still feel even now).

The article describes how hard it has been for reporters to write about the Conference with all the acronyms flying around:

“Letters are swimming before me like alphabet soup. It’s almost like they make a new one up every day ,” said one reporter laboring through the conferences’ press statements.

AIDS drugs are known as ART, or antiretroviral therapy, HAART, highly active antiretroviral therapy, and there’s a new generation known as NNRTIs, or non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors.

Then you get the acronyms that include acronyms inside them.

PLHIV are people living with HIV, PLWHA stands for people living with HIV and AIDS, while GIPA means greater involvement of people living with HIV and AIDS.

“It’s one of the hardest things to get your head around when you start working in this area,” said one communications official at the media center at the biennial conference.

Isn’t it crazy?

Read the whole article here:

Understanding AIDS — a labor of love

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