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Durban Conference Searchable Abstracts Now Available on Web.

Finally the abstracts of the XIII International Conference on AIDS (Durban, South Africa, July 9-14, 2000) are available on the Web, through an easy-to-use site set up by the U.S. National Library of Medicine at

You can search for any topic of interest. For example, type "vitamin" into the "Abstract Text" field and click the "Search" button and you will see the titles of 22 abstracts related to nutrition (they contain the word "vitamin" somewhere in the text). Click on any of the titles to get the whole abstract.

You can also select any group of the titles and display the abstracts together, which is convenient for printing.

But be careful; "vitamins" (plural) only gets eight of the 22 "vitamin" abstracts. If a word has different endings ("malignancy" vs. "malignancies"), you can type just the first part (malignanc", for example--l3 abstracts). You can type a phrase ("viral load", which finds 517 abstracts); to see a smaller list of the abstracts likely to be most important for your search, put "viral load" into the Abstract Title field instead of into Abstract Text (76 abstracts have "viral load" in the title). And if you are looking for authors, see the "Help" section on how to enter their names. [Note: Do not type quote marks when doing the searches.]

We did not find instructions for more complex searches ("viral load" and "HIV" for example), and could not get them to work. But you can search for abstracts which have one word or phrase in the title, and another word or phrase in the text.

Also, we do not know if an Abstract Text search will also find abstracts which have the word or phrase you are looking for only in the title, but not in the text. If not, you could miss some of the most important abstracts you are seeking. After doing an Abstract Text search, it might help to scan through an Abstract Title search as well, to spot anything important which is missing.

Searchable, full-text abstracts on the Web are especially important since the abstracts on the CDROM disks given out at the Durban conference have a serious error. All the less than ('[less than]') and greater than ('[greater than]') signs are reversed (except when they are part of less-than-or-equal or greater-than-or-equal, which are not reversed). Corrected disks, which also include the late-breaker abstracts, have been prepared but may not have been widely distributed.

The new Durban conference Web search page can also be reached through the home page of the National Library of Medicine's Specialized Information Services (, which provides information on HIV/AIDS, toxicology, and some other topics.
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Publication:AIDS Treatment News
Date:Nov 3, 2000
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