NEW YORK, Nov. 30, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- MTV today announced that on-air and online MTV, MTV2, mtvU, MTV Hits, MTV Jams, RateMyProfessors.com, and MTV's Facebook and Twitter profiles will turn red on Wednesday, December 1, 2010 in honor of World AIDS Day, encouraging young people to GYT (Get Yourself Tested). As part of this day, MTV and mtvU will air a new documentary, "Me, Myself and HIV" along with special World AIDS Day programming on MTV, MTV Hits and MTV Jams, in addition to teaming up with Planned Parenthood of New York City to offer free HIV testing in Washington Square Park on December 1st. MTV will also join landmarks from around the world- from the Empire State Building to Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa – that will be illuminated the color red as part of the (RED)'s new campaign, 'The AIDS Free Generation is Due in 2015.'
"This World AIDS Day marks the first time MTV has changed the color of its logo in support of a cause," said Stephen Friedman, General Manger of MTV. "By turning all of MTV's screens red, we're delivering a global call to action for a generation that has never known a time without HIV/AIDS to help put an end to the epidemic."
MTV is hosting a series of initiatives and programs on-air, online and on-the-ground as part of World AIDS Day, building on MTV's longstanding commitment to address sexual health issues, including HIV/AIDS, and the ongoing "It's Your (Sex) Life" partnership and "GYT: Get Yourself Tested" campaign with the Kaiser Family Foundation and other partners. MTV's World AIDS Day initiatives include:
- "Me, Myself and HIV" (premiering in the U.S. on MTV and mtvU Dec. 1st at 2pm ET/PT and 6pm ET/PT, respectively): Me, Myself & HIV examines real-life stories of two young people – both living with HIV – on opposite sides of the world. This self-narrated, hour-long documentary dispels common myths and stereotypes associated with HIV, and encourages young people to speak more openly about it. Edgy, entertaining and enlightening, Me, Myself & HIV follows Slim, a 21-year-old, aspiring DJ and music producer from Lusaka, Zambia, and Angelikah, a 25-year-old college student from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Slim and Angelikah share their stories from the when they first decided to get tested for HIV/AIDS to life immediately after getting their results, right through to the present day. Me, Myself & HIV was produced by MTV's Staying Alive Campaign, with Firecracker Films. The documentary will air on MTV's global network of 63 channels in 159 countries worldwide, on December 1st in honor of World AIDS Day.
- GYT in NYC for Free (Washington Square Park, New York City, from 10am – 2pm): As part of the GYT campaign, Planned Parenthood's New York City affiliate will provide free HIV testing from a mobile van in Washington Square Park in Manhattan on World AIDS Day.
- PSAs, Videos and Shows go Red (Dec. 1st): MTV Hits and MTV Jams will air special sexual health and HIV/AIDS themed video hours. Additionally, all MTV channels will air special GYT and World AIDS Day messages throughout the day, as will MTV's HD video screen in Times Square, 44-1/2. MTV's daily show airing at 5pm ET/PT, "The Seven," will also go red for World AIDs Day.
- Pos or Not iPhone App: In honor of World AIDS day, users can head to the online Apple store to download a free iPhone App based on Pos or Not, an interactive game developed with the Kaiser Family Foundation that challenges stereotypes and breaks down the barriers that may prevent people from talking openly about HIV/AIDS, getting tested, and using protection. People from across the U.S. – half of whom are living with HIV and half who are not – share parts of their lives for "Pos or Not" by divulging their HIV status to help dispel myths and misconceptions about HIV and AIDS. Players confront their own HIV stereotypes as they guess whether a profiled participant is positive or negative based only on a photo and a few personal details, such as what they do on the weekends or their favorite kind of music. To date, the game has been played 10.1 million times online.
Globally, more than 1,000 children are born with HIV every day needlessly. Without treatment, about half of these babies will die before their second birthday. AIDS is a preventable and treatable disease –with access to medication a pregnant mother can stop the transmission of HIV to her child. The AIDS free generation is due in 2015; to help make this a reality, viewers can head to www.joinred.com.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 5 people in the United States living with HIV is unaware that they are infected. Early diagnosis and treatment saves lives. To take action, young people can head to www.GYTNOW.org or text their zip code to GYTNOW (498669) to locate a local testing center near them.
GYT was launched in April 2009 as part of a longstanding partnership between MTV and the Kaiser Family Foundation on sexual health issues, "It's Your (Sex) Life," in response to the staggering rate of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among young people in the U.S. Through a cross-platform national media campaign and community outreach, GYT seeks to reduce the spread of STD's among those under 25 by providing information, encouraging more open communication, and promoting testing and treatment as needed. GYT is conducted together with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Gilead Sciences, Inc. provides additional financial support. For more details, head to www.GYTNOW.org.
MTV is the world's premier youth entertainment brand. With a global reach of more than a half-billion households, MTV is the cultural home of the millennial generation, music fans and artists, and a pioneer in creating innovative programming for young people. MTV reflects and creates pop culture with its Emmy®, Grammy® and Peabody® award-winning content built around compelling storytelling, music discovery and activism across TV, online and mobile. MTV's sibling networks MTV2 and mtvU each deliver unparalleled customized content for young males, music fans and college students, and its online hub MTV.com is the leading destination for music, news and pop culture. MTV is part of MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. For more information, go to www.mtvpress.com.
(RED)'s primary objective is to engage the private sector in raising awareness and funds for the Global Fund, to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. Companies whose products take on the (PRODUCT) RED mark contribute a significant percentage of the sales or portion of the profits from that product to the Global Fund to help finance HIV/AIDS programs in Africa, including interventions targeting women and children. Current partners are: American Express (U.K. only), Apple, Bugaboo, Converse, Gap, Emporio Armani, FLOWE(RED) (U.K. only), Hallmark (U.S. only), Dell, Nike, Penguin Classics and Starbucks. Since its launch in the Spring of 2006, $160 million has been generated by (RED) partners and events for the Global Fund. (RED) money is at work in Ghana, Lesotho, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zambia and supports programs that have reached more than 5 million people. For more information, visit www.joinred.com.