Person on a mobile phone

What is

Started in 1995, was an information and education website developed by Avert and launched in the infancy of the internet to increase accessibility to clear and trusted information about HIV and AIDS. During its 27 years in existence, changed many times as technology developed, but some things were constant – it was always a free, non-judgemental information source about HIV and AIDS delivered to a global audience; there to support people’s right to accurate information.

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Why was developed?

Access to information has always been a fundamental requirement for individuals to take informed decisions about their sexual health. It has also been the case throughout the whole of the HIV epidemic that many people have struggled to access clear, up-to-date, evidence-based information. For 27 years provided a trusted source of information for people around the world, in times when information was hard to come by, sometimes on issues that many weren’t prepared to talk about, and in a way that was independent, evidence-based and trusted.

The information I wanted was presented in a precise and concise manner. The friendly language used made understanding the material easier. I will definitely use this website again user


How has made a difference?

During its lifetime, became a leading global site on HIV and AIDS reaching over 215 million people between 2007-2022 alone (as far as we can trace back our analytics!). That included individual information seekers, researchers, NGO and INGO professionals, policy makers, community health workers, donors, students, and many more. Over the years the site was continually improved based on the evidence, analytics and feedback of users, with over 80% of users in recent years reporting they had learned something new through their interaction with the site. received a number of awards, including first prize at the British Medical Association Patient Information Awards 2005 and then the prestigious Nominet Internet Award under the ‘Online Training and Education’ category, in association with the British Library in 2012.

Launched before smartphones existed, by the time was decommissioned over 80% of traffic was via mobile.

The learning and evidence from has been used to develop our new Be in the KNOW sexual health brand which now continues to provide engaging and accessible information on sexual health and HIV to a new generation of young people, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, and the educators and health practitioners in their communities.

Reach and engagement

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million people reached worldwide
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of users surveyed learned something new
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of users were aged 18-34*

*Average over period 2015-2022

Photo credit: Corrie Wingate. Photos are used for illustrative purposes. They do not imply health status or behaviour.