First, thank you to everyone who returned the reader survey that was sent with the last issue—we will report back on your collective input in a future issue. We genuinely appreciate your responses, which will be used over the course of the coming year to help inform decisions that will be made about the treatment publications of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF).
For many years SFAF has published BETA and other high-quality HIV/AIDS treatment materials. A recent budget shortfall, however, has required all departments in the agency to alter the scope of their activities for the near future. Some changes have been implemented already and others will be determined over the course of the next several months. In the current fiscal year, July 2002–June 2003, three rather than four quarterly new print editions of English BETA and two new print editions of Spanish BETA will be published. This is but one measure that will ensure the continuity of SFAF’s treatment publications through this transitional period.
Now for a more personal announcement. After ten years at SFAF, and ascending the editorial ladder from volunteer assistant editor to editor, I too have decided to make some changes and will be leaving BETA to pursue new professional goals and opportunities. When I began as a volunteer early in 1992, there were three approved antiretrovirals—AZT, ddI, and ddC. Activists were chaining themselves to the federal building here in San Francisco to remind the government and public, as well as researchers, that HIV-infected people were dying in large numbers and in desperate need of treatment options.
Today, numerous developments, including lasting breakthroughs and deep disappointments—not to mention countless conferences, interviews, and editions of BETA—later, the situation has, of course, changed dramatically. The profound changes that have occurred in the treatment arena since then are perhaps mixed blessings, but have surely offered improved health and longevity to many. But not to all—ongoing challenges of treatment specialists include the need to continue to study and conceive new and better therapies, as well as to ensure that those who need treatment receive it.
I am proud to have been part of an active, continuing effort to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic. I’m also pleased to tell you that Nicholas Cheonis, who has been associate editor of BETA, has agreed to assume the role of editor. Although the leadership of BETA is changing, its mission and goals remain the same: to provide vital, life-saving information to people with HIV and their caregivers about the latest treatment developments and the most useful strategies for maintaining optimal health.