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Young voices crucial to fighting AIDS, says MTV Networks International and UNICEF

Vlogit project uses new media to encourage HIV prevention and fight stigma and discrimination

LONDON/NEW YORK, 25 July 2007 – Today UNICEF and MTV Networks International’s Staying Alive launched a series of online video blogs, called vlogs, as the first phase of Vlogit, a global video project encouraging young people to share through new media how they experience and perceive HIV and AIDS.  Globally, 10 million young people aged 15 to 24 are living with HIV and children and young people account for half of all new HIV infections.

Young voices are a strong force for HIV prevention, fighting stigma and discrimination, and working towards an AIDS-free generation. “Poverty is one of the strongest single factors to explain the epidemic of HIV in the developing world,” says Emishaw Tegegneowrk Yimenu, one of the youth winners from Ethiopia, whose vlog details the difficult decisions his family must make that bring HIV and AIDS to his doorstep. Mariel Garcia Montes, a teenager from Mexico, uses her vlog to show how a “non-infected teenager realizes how AIDS affects even people who are not infected.”

By encouraging young people to communicate about HIV and AIDS, Vlogit seeks to show how young people are living with and responding to the epidemic around the world. The Vlogit partnership between MTV Networks International’s Staying Alive and UNICEF is part of Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS, a global campaign to provide children and young people with HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.   With the launch of the Vlogit site, young people from around the world are invited to upload their own vlogs. The Vlogit website will remain a new media tool to engage young people in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

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


For background information
UNICEF is leading the Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS global campaign which provides a platform for urgent and sustained action in four key areas: preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, scaling up pediatric treatment and care for children infected with HIV, preventing new infections amongst adolescents, and supporting children affected by AIDS. UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories. For more information please visit www.unicef.org.

MTV Networks International 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 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).

Attention broadcasters: Young people’s vlogs from China, Ethiopia, Malaysia, Mexico, Romania, South Africa, Uganda and the Ukraine are available for downloading from www.thenewsmarket.com/unicef.

For more information, please contact:
Cathy Phiri, MTV Staying Alive, + 44- 20-7478-6134, phiri.cathy@mtvne.com
Gerrit Beger, UNICEF New York, +1-212-326-7116, gbeger@unicef.org
Elizabeth Losleben, UNICEF New York, +212-326-7172, elosleben@unicef.org





25 July 2007:
Watch the videos below to see celebrities speak out about HIV/AIDS for the UNICEF and MTV Staying Alive campaign.

See a highlight of the young people's vlogs, part of Vlogit, a global video project produced with help from UNICEF and MTV Staying Alive.
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UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Ewan McGregor speaks about HIV/AIDS for UNICEF and MTV Staying Alive.
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International reggae artist  Shaggy shares a message on HIV/AIDS for UNICEF and MTV Staying Alive
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Music and film star Simon Webbe on the importance of HIV/AIDS awareness for UNICEF and MTV Staying Alive
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Jamaican reggae artist Da' Ville talks about HIV/AIDS as part of the UNICEF and MTV Staying Alive campaign
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