The Weekly NewsDigest and Its Remarkable Editor

November 3, 2017

Even close readers of the Weekly NewsDigest may be surprised to know that we are closing in on 18 years of weekly updates. Much has changed over these years – the HIV prevention news itself, the media world, and the technologies that help us compile and edit each issue. But there has always been one constant – the remarkable Polly Harrison!

Polly the advocate, scientist, policy wonk and editor is first and foremost an intrepid guide to all of us who have learned from her and been inspired by her – and that includes just about everyone working in HIV prevention research.

Every Friday for over 18 years, thousands of people receive what looks like a simple email digest of news covering HIV prevention research and relevant science in peer-reviewed journals. But it has always been so much more than that, thanks to Polly!

The Digest was Polly’s brainchild at the Alliance for Microbicide Development, which she founded as a catalyst for the microbicide field. The Alliance and AVAC were always close collaborators and share an unyielding commitment to raise awareness and provide a neutral, objective basis for decision-making and evidence-based advocacy. So when Polly “retired” the Alliance 8 years ago, AVAC was incredibly fortunate to make sure that she herself didn’t retire.

As our Senior Advisor on so many things over the years, Polly guided the Digest at its new home – ensuring your weekly summary arrived on schedule and mentoring all of us at AVAC – and made us all marvel how anyone of any age could do all that she did.

Alas, Polly has decided to hang up her weekly editorial role (but will happily remain our trusted Senior advisor). We wish her much joy as she looks ahead to other adventures and, hopefully, some relaxation. But she will always be the founding editor and honorary publisher, because every Weekly NewsDigest will reflect her legacy and continue to curate stories from countless sources covering the world of HIV prevention research — and we know who our closest reader will be each week!

Polly’s wisdom, insight, humor, passion and commitment are all models to us at AVAC – and, undoubtedly, to the field at large. While we can imagine (barely) the Digest without her, we can’t imagine this field without her influence!

Thank you so much, Polly, and happy reading – at your own pace, without a deadline.