Background STDPreventionOnline.org (STDPO) is an online professional networking site for the sexually transmitted diseases/infections (STD/STI) work force, including researchers, clinicians, epidemiologists, disease intervention specialists, and programme managers. The site was developed by the internet and STD Center of Excellence, originally funded by a grant from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and currently sponsored by the American Sexually Transmitted Disease Association (ASTDA). The site was conceived as two-way clearing house of current STD/STI information and resources, where members could both download and upload information in a variety of formats including text, audio, and video files as well as blog and forum postings. Membership is free.
Objective To describe current users and usage of STPDPO.
Methods Descriptive statistics were obtained from embedded website metrics and Google Analytics©.
Results Since its inception in 2007, the site has registered 3500 members and the site's monthly newsletter has over 4000 subscribers. The predominance of site members (92%) live/work in the US, however a substantial number (n=258 as of January 2012) are non-US users with 47 countries represented. Most members (58%) work in STD/HIV programmes in state/local health departments, 13% in community or private clinics, 11% in a university setting, 8% in federal government, and 8% in community organisations. During 2011, the site logged 14 778 individual site visits and 61 205 page views; respectively 284 and 1177 per week. To date, over 1150 resources have been uploaded to the site which, have been downloaded over 40 000 times, an average of 35 downloads per resource. Topics related to internet use and online interventions are particularly popular, followed by clinical slide sets, and podcasts.
Conclusion During the 4 years of its existence, STDPO has demonstrated to meet a need in the STD/STI professional community for an interactive, two-way, clearing house of STD/STI-related information.