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Malaysian youth joins peers to use new media to speak out on HIV and AIDS

© courtesy Chow Jia Long
Malaysian youth Chow Jia Long used rap to "talk" about HIV and AIDS in his vlog.

KUALA LUMPUR, 15 November 2007 – Twenty-two year old Malaysian Chow Jia Long joined nine of his peers from around the world earlier this year for the first phase of UNICEF and MTV Networks International’s Staying Alive program titled VLOGIT, a global video project encouraging young people to share how they experience and perceive HIV and AIDS using new media.

The ten selected “winners” from China, Ethiopia, Malaysia, Mexico, Romania, South Africa, Uganda and Ukraine were each given a video recorder by MTV to produce one-minute vlogs, otherwise known as video blogs to document their thoughts on HIV and AIDS and its impact on their communities.
 
"The situation of HIV in Malaysia is lower compared to other countries, but for how long this will continue is anybody's guess. Also, the subject is still considered taboo in Malaysia and people tend to shy away from it”, said Jia Long who is currently pursuing his tertiary education in Sabah.

© UNICEF/HQ06-1500/ Pirozzi
Youth leaders affected by AIDS stand in a circle, holding hands, to symbolize the slogan ‘We can do it together’.

By encouraging young people to communicate about HIV and AIDS using platforms that inspire them, VLOGIT seeks to show how young people are living with and responding to the epidemic around the world.

With the launch of the VLOGIT site in July this year, young people from across the globe were invited to join Jia Long and to upload their own vlogs onto the Staying Alive website. The VLOGIT website will remain a new media tool to engage young people in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

Jia Long who responded to UNICEF’s World AIDS Day 2006 call for vlog proposals was selected as one of the original winners of the video contest for his creative and innovative use of popular youth culture to talk about HIV.

“AIDS is now an epidemic which has had such an impact on the world. I was struggling to write about it in the most creative way possible, and then the idea of writing a piece of rap hit me, and that's when I put my whole heart and mind into it," he added.

Celebrities, including Da’Ville, Shaggy, Simon Webbe and UNICEF UK Goodwill Ambassador Ewan McGregor also lent their voices to the project, speaking out on the importance of HIV prevention and the devastating effects of AIDS on families and communities all over the world.

The VLOGIT partnership between MTV Networks International’s Staying Alive and UNICEF is part of UNICEF’s “Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS” global campaign to provide children and young people with HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.  

For more information about VLOGIT, please visit www.staying-alive.org/vlogit

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MTV Networks International
MTV includes the premier multimedia entertainment brands MTV: Music Television, VH1, Nickelodeon, TMF (The Music Factory), VIVA, Flux, Paramount Comedy, Comedy Central, Game One and IFILM. MTV Networks' brands are seen globally in 503 million households in 161 countries and 32 languages via 138 locally programmed and operated TV channels and more than 250 digital media properties.  The company's diverse holdings also include interests in television syndication, digital media, publishing, home video, radio, recorded music, licensing & merchandising and two feature film divisions, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies.  MTV Networks is a unit of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).

Staying Alive
Staying Alive is a multimedia global HIV and AIDS prevention campaign that challenges stigma and discrimination associated with HIV and AIDS as well as empowers young people to protect themselves from infection.  The Emmy award-winning campaign consists of documentaries, public service announcements, youth forums and multi-lingual web content.  Staying Alive provides all of its material rights-free and at no cost to 3rd party broadcasters and content distributors globally to get crucial prevention messages out to the widest possible audience.  The Staying Alive campaign is a partnership between MTV Networks International, Family Health International’s YouthNet, the Kaiser Family Foundation, UNAIDS, UNFPA, Sida, and Creative Review.  More information about Staying Alive can be found at www.staying-alive.org.  MTV Networks International is also an active member of the United Nations-supported Global Media AIDS Initiative (GMAI).

For further information, please contact UNICEF Malaysia :
Indra Nadchatram: (+6.03) 2095 9157, 013 366 3452, inadchatram@unicef.org
 


 

 

 

 

 

VLOGIT - Celebrity PSAs

Watch celebrities speak out about HIV and AIDS for the UNICEF and MTV Staying Alive campaign.

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Ewan McGregor
 VIDEO high | low

International reggae artist Shaggy
 VIDEO high | low

Music and film star Simon Webbe
 VIDEO high | low

Jamaican reggae artist Da' Ville
 VIDEO high | low


Youth Vlogs

VLOGIT Vlog highlight
 VIDEO high | low

Chow Jia Long, 21
Perak, Malaysia
 VIDEO high | low

Mariel Garcia Montes, 16
Mexico City, Mexico
 VIDEO high | low

Deng Yongshi, 17
Dongguan City, China
  VIDEO high | low

Thithi Nteta, 22
Cape Town, South Africa
  VIDEO high | low 


World AIDS Day 2007



1 December 2007
Leadership

Unite against AIDS



The Malaysian Launch
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