Prevention Communication Branch
Act Against AIDS (AAA) is a national health communications initiative designed to refocus attention on HIV and AIDS in the United States and support the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. Launched in 2009, AAA uses TV and radio public service announcements; print, online, airport, and transit ads; and physician communications. Its multiple campaigns for professionals, the general public, and high-risk groups, promote testing, address stigma and complacency, and support physician efforts to counsel and test their patients. AAA campaign efforts are enhanced through the Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative, a partnership between CDC and 19 leading national civic and social organizations representing the populations hardest hit by HIV and AIDS to intensify HIV prevention efforts in key populations.
PCB’s behavioral scientists, health communication specialists, and health educators develop and implement these campaigns, including conducting formative research, testing messages with the target audiences, and evaluating the campaigns after they have launched. The branch’s staff work closely with partners to ensure the right messages reach the groups at highest risk for HIV infection.
PCB works with organizations across the country to support the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention’s (DHAP’s) goals. The branch manages the Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative (AAALI) and the Men Who Have Sex With Men Funding Opportunity Announcement; has a presence at the annual Bronner Brothers International Hair Show, the For Sisters Only Expo, and other mobilization events; and partners with individuals and organizations from all sectors (arts and entertainment, business/labor, civic/social, education, faith, health, and media).
AAALI is a partnership with some of the nation’s leading African American and Hispanic/Latino organizations to increase awareness, prevention, and testing within populations hardest hit by HIV. Partner organizations were chosen because of their demonstrated credibility, influence, and reach at national, regional, and local levels. AAALI brings together a wide range of civic, social, civil rights, LGBT, and professional organizations, as well as those in the government, education, and the media.
Websites and Social Media Properties
CDC’s HIV websites are among the largest in the CDC domain. The sites are DHAP’s most visible resource, and represent the Division, Center, and Agency 24 hours a day. PCB oversees the development of the external website, the internal website, and the AAA website (as well as all DHAP internal and external SharePoint activities).
The external site offers materials for consumer, scientific, and public health audiences. The internal site is the primary source for internal communication and strategic planning resources.
The AAA site offers campaign materials and basic HIV/AIDS information. SharePoint has increasingly become part of DHAP’s work environment as a tool to streamline common office processes and projects. It is also a secure portal for external partners to share sensitive information with their CDC project leads.
PCB engages with the general public, partners and health care providers through an array of social media networks. Facebook pages for communication campaigns focus on specific audiences, from the broad sweep of AAA, with its messages about raising awareness, reducing stigma, and preventing HIV, to pages designed by and for groups at higher risk of HIV infection. PCB also interacts with partners and the general public through CDC HIV, Twitter (@TalkHIV) and CDC accounts on Pinterest, YouTube (CDC Streaming Health) and Vine.
PCB develops and posts a weekly newsletter, the DHAP Insider Update, to alert staff to Division news, staff milestones, staff-authored articles published in peer-reviewed journals, and HIV web updates. The branch also maintains the DHAP Intranet, where each branch and office has a presence with an organization chart, a staff list, and key activities and resources. The intranet houses a searchable publications database for all DHAP-authored citations.
PCB creates a wide variety of content related to DHAP’s priorities, including fact sheets, features, infographics for partners and consumers, web content, and partner communications such as “Dear Colleague” letters. Writer-editors and health communication specialists work with other branches to interpret their guidelines, reports, and other data for various audiences.
DHAP and AAA products like brochures and posters are printed and distributed directly to consumers, partners, and health care professionals in venues such as clinics or at conferences. PCB manages all printing processes: submitting print requests, proofing printed materials, and ensuring materials are delivered on time and to the right place. The branch tracks warehouse inventories to ensure the products our partners need are available and that obsolete products are phased out.
DHAP has a presence at major HIV and other public health conferences thanks in part to PCB’s conference support activities, which identifies key exhibiting opportunities, orders and ships booth materials and displays, sets up booths, and manages all logistical needs such as laptops with Internet access. Representatives from the branch staff the booths, answer questions, provide materials, and help audiences to navigate the CDC HIV site for information. PCB staff may also represent the National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention at these conferences.
When clinicians, partners, or consumers call the CDC-INFO helpline with complicated "Tier 3" questions about HIV, they are referred to PCB staff, who respond directly or forward the question to the right subject matter expert—all within 72 hours. PCB also handles Tier 3 media and congressional inquiries forwarded from CDC-INFO.