In the past four years, Advantage Life Products, in Laguna Hills, Calif., has generated $26 million in sales and helped an estimated 4.5 million Americans with its smoking-cessation program, CigArrest, an approach that combines use of an over-the-counter drug with education and behavior modification. Now the company has introduced a new product called Be Safe: A Self-Care Program About the Facts and Prevention of HIV and AIDS.

Targeted at young people, Be Safe contains an audiocassette and an interactive manual designed to promote dialogue (among peers, teachers, and parents) about HIV/AIDS transmission, prevention, and testing, while also providing advice on how to change behavior to prevent infection. "Be Safe is not just a pamphlet," says Advantage CEO Don Danks, "it's a comprehensive program. Behaviors cause risk, so the focus of our program is behavior-modification treatment."

The product, a collaborative effort by physicians, family psychologists, the Centers for Disease Control, the City of Hope, and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, took two years to research and develop. Advantage shipped its first product last May and is rolling out 500,000 units (retail price: $10) this year at drugstores, discount stores, and convenience stores nationwide. A program to give the kits away to students in rural and urban schools exhibiting a high incidence of HIV is now being organized.

-- Alessandra Bianchi