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Effectiveness in Disease and Injury Prevention Business Responds to AIDS Program -- December 1992-February 1993

Of all acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) cases reported through 1991 in the United States, 76% occurred among persons aged 25-44 years (1); persons aged 15-44 years comprise approximately 50% of the United States workforce (2). On December 1, 1992, CDC introduced "Business Responds to AIDS" (BRTA) -- a new program for the primary prevention of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS. BRTA, which was introduced by satellite teleconference, encourages business and labor leaders in U.S. communities to develop comprehensive workplace HIV-prevention education programs (3). This report describes BRTA and summarizes the response -- from December 1, 1992, through February 5, 1993 -- to the launch of the national program.

BRTA is a public and private collaboration (involving business, labor, health, and AIDS service organizations) comprised of five components: 1) policy development; 2) training for supervisors and union leaders; 3) HIV education for employees; 4) HIV education for employees' families; and 5) community service and employee volunteerism. In addition, the BRTA Resource Service was established at the CDC National AIDS Clearinghouse to provide a toll-free reference and referral system to assist in implementing HIV workplace education programs. Materials in separate kits for managers and labor leaders, other resources, and local referrals are available from the Resource Service. *

In October and November 1992, advance information on the BRTA teleconference was sent to 35,000 corporations with communication systems that could receive the broadcast. In addition, the broadcast was carried by the American Red Cross Crosslinks Satellite System (84 chapters); the U.S. Department of Agriculture (1200 locations equipped to receive the broadcast); the Health and Science Television Network (1000 hospital receiving sites); the Scola Education Network (approximately 1200 colleges and universities, government organizations, and the World Bank) and many commercial television networks and local and regional cable television systems (Ogilvy Adams & Rinehart, unpublished data, 1993). Following the broadcast, the BRTA teleconference was reported on stations in 64 of the nation's largest 75 television markets and in major newspapers.

The total number of persons who watched the broadcast cannot be determined; however, many local events were conducted in conjunction with the teleconference (Ogilvy Adams & Rinehart, unpublished data, 1993), including the following:

  • Communities in approximately 33 states and the District of

Columbia used the BRTA teleconference as an event to involve local business leaders with public health and AIDS service organizations to promote HIV workplace education.

  • Approximately 1500 managers from a national insurance

company viewed the broadcast at 165 sites through an in-house corporate television network.

  • Public health representatives from 45 states and three

territorial health departments viewed the teleconference as part of the Epidemiology by Satellite Training Conference at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

  • The Bureau of Public Health, West Virginia Department of

Health and Human Resources, organized teleconference viewings at 23 sites where business professionals viewed the conference and received packets of information that included statistics on HIV/AIDS in West Virginia and a list of resources available to businesses.

From December 1, 1992, through February 5, 1993, the BRTA Resource Service received 3047 requests for assistance, compared with an average of 560 calls per month for workplace assistance during the 6 months before the BRTA teleconference. From December 1 through February 5, the Resource Service also received orders for 1844 manager's kits to be used in HIV education for employees; for example, a pharmaceutical company with 80,000 employees ordered kits and resource materials to use in developing programs for its employees.

Organizations contacting the Resource Service included small businesses, state and local health departments, large multinational and national corporations, and labor organizations. The largest percentage of requests for assistance (more than 65%) was received from the business sector.

Preliminary data indicate that the teleconference and its coverage by the media afterward were major sources of information about the BRTA Resource Service. During December, 26% of callers to the Resource Service indicated they learned of BRTA from the teleconference, 31% cited an article about the teleconference in a major newspaper, and 43% reported they learned of the service from national and local print media (CDC National AIDS Clearinghouse, unpublished data, 1993).

Reported by: National AIDS Information and Education Program, Office of HIV/AIDS, Office of the Director, CDC.

Editorial Note

Editorial Note: Since the initiation of BRTA on December 1, business and labor organizations, the media, state and local health agencies, and AIDS community-based organizations have reported that the program provides useful background for development of HIV/AIDS workplace education. The types of organizations and individuals requesting information from the CDC National AIDS Clearinghouse BRTA Resource Service reflect a diversity of employers and include businesses with products and services for sale and health departments and other nonprofit organizations. The immediate subsequent steps for this long-term prevention program include aggressive marketing of the manager's kit, the labor leader's kit, and the CDC BRTA Resource Service and regional briefings for business and labor leaders to encourage comprehensive HIV workplace education across the nation.


  1. CDC. HIV/AIDS surveillance report. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, January 1992.

  2. Fullerton HN Jr. New labor force projections, spanning 1988 to 2000. Monthly Labor Review 1989;112:3-12.

  3. CDC. Business Responds to AIDS Program. MMWR 1992;41:879.

    • Additional information on BRTA and kits (cost: $25 per kit) are available from the CDC Business Responds to AIDS Resource Service, P.O. Box 6003, Rockville, MD 20849-6003; telephone (800) 458-5231.

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