The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is estimated to have infected more than a million people in the United States and millions more in other countries. Even though there is no vaccine or effective treatment, HIV infection can be prevented through behavioral change. As the lead Public Health Service Agency for disease prevention, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has designed and implemented information and education activities with the ultimate goal of preventing HIV infection and AIDS in the United States. The target populations include the general public, school- and college-aged populations, persons infected or at increased risk of infection, minorities, and health workers. Because AIDS will be with us for a long time, CDC views educating the public as a long-term undertaking. The agency has initiated an intensive continuing national public information campaign, an informational brochure to be distributed to every U.S. household, a national AIDS information toll-free hotline, and a clearinghouse system that will maintain a comprehensive inventory of AIDS information resources and services. CDC also supports public information and education efforts by State and local health agencies. To reach school- and college-age youth, CDC, in consultation with governmental and national private sector organizations, developed guidelines for effective school health education to assist school health personnel in determining the scope and content of AIDS education. CDC also works with State and local education agencies to help carry out and evaluate educational efforts to prevent the spread of HIV among school- and college-age youth. The populations with the highest priority for AIDS information and education efforts are those who are at increased risk of acquiring or transmitting the AIDS virus because they use illicit intravenous drugs and share needles, engage in anal intercourse, have many sexual partners, practice prostitution, or engage in sex with those who practice these behaviors. Another high-priority population, because they can infect their offspring,is reproductive age women engaging in high-risk behavior and women infected with HIV who become pregnant. CDC programs targeted to these groups include community health education and risk reduction interventions, counseling and testing for HIV infection, AIDS community demonstration projects, perinatal AIDS prevention projects,and programs focused on preventing AIDS in minority populations. CDC is developing a variety of educational approaches for health workers in clinical settings because they are an important channel for providing accurate AIDS information, helping to assess risk, and counseling to actively reduce risk for the patient, sex partners of the patient, friends, and family members of the patient. CDC has conducted research and provided information and training on the use of HIV laboratory tests. CDC has also developed numerous scientific and technical guidelines and recommendations in consultation with practitioners, public health officials, and others and disseminated these through the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. In addition,CDC has provided information about the risk of HIV transmission in the workplace and about methods of prevention. CDC will continue to evaluate these activities and support research in education and related interventions that may be necessary to prevent infection by the HIV virus. By providing educational support for behavior changes that decrease HIV transmission, we can contribute to AIDS prevention in the 1990s.