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MTV's Staying Alive Marks Ten Years of Empowering Young People in Their Fight against HIV and AIDS



It's about education. It's about empowerment. It's about opening dialogue.

LIVERPOOL, N.Y., Nov. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- To mark 10 years of dedication and commitment in the fight against HIV/AIDS, MTV Staying Alive has produced an enlightening documentary starring global superstar, founding member of Destiny's Child and recently appointed Staying Alive Foundation Ambassador, Kelly Rowland. The Diary of Kelly Rowland and other Staying Alive programming will air on MTVs around the world during World AIDS Day on Monday, December 1.

Every day young people encounter pressures that put them at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and these pressures change depending on age, socio-economic factors and even time of day. 30 million people are infected with HIV globally out of which nearly 12 million young people (15-24) already have the disease. Women account for more than half of all these infections and everyday 6,000 young people are infected.

For ten years, Staying Alive has been relentless in its commitment to fighting this epidemic. Given the shocking statistics, the tremendous pressure faced by today's youth and the taboo nature of the topic, it is essential to reach youth on multiple levels and get the topic out into the open. In recognizing this complexity, Staying Alive pursues a strategy of combination prevention messaging. Through a multi-faceted approach, messaging can be reinforced through a variety of mediums, increasing the likelihood of effectiveness. This strategy involves original programming, partnerships with youth brands, competitions, public service announcements, websites, teaming up with celebrities, blogs, grants to youth-led grassroots initiatives through the Foundation -- this is what Staying Alive has been doing for 10 years.

As part of MTV's global programming efforts to support World AIDS Day, the moving documentary -- The Diary of Kelly Rowland -- chronicles Rowland's recent travels with the Staying Alive Foundation to visit its heroic grantees in South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and the USA. This one-hour documentary records Rowland's first-hand experiences with young people affected by HIV/AIDS. It features intimate discussions between Rowland and these young adults about how they have overcome harrowing HIV/AIDS related experiences to fight and protect others in their communities from getting infected.

While in Kenya, where young girls are 5 to 6 times more vulnerable to HIV infection than boys their own age, Rowland gets tested for HIV. Her efforts are to break down the stigmas associated with the disease and to encourage youth globally to step-up and know their status. Some of the inspirational people Rowland encounters throughout her journey include: a former sex worker in the heart of Tanzania's red-light district Hyena Square, a group of people who are HIV+ making a difference by educating children in a Kenyan school and a young American woman who lost her mother to AIDS. It ultimately provides an up-close and personal introduction to some remarkable and incredibly courageous young people, young people who have been at the heart of the Staying Alive campaign.

Chairman and CEO of MTV Networks International, Bill Roedy, commented, "The poignant documentary highlights Kelly's unrelenting commitment to raising awareness of HIV/AIDS. She has fully embraced her role as Staying Alive Ambassador and the responsibilities that go along with it -- the documentary is testament to her dedication, passion and yearning to do more. In her quest to reduce the stigma associated with the epidemic, Kelly has upped the ante by getting tested herself -- we are proud and honoured to have her as our exemplary Ambassador especially in this landmark 10th year."

This timely documentary draws attention to the issues at the forefront of the global fight against HIV/AIDS, highlighting Rowland's efforts as Staying Alive Ambassador to combat the spread of the epidemic. The programme includes humorous and light-hearted moments without sacrificing the truth at the heart of the matter; placing real-life accounts of HIV and AIDS in the spotlight. It does so without shying away from the shocking statistics or real implications of having unprotected sex. It places HIV/AIDS out in the open, and in doing so creates an openness of dialogue on the 'taboo' subject -- consistent with the legacy of MTV Staying Alive over the past 10 years.

Kelly Rowland reaches out to youth and requests, "Love yourself enough to protect yourself. One person makes a difference. One voice makes a difference ... Don't you want to make a difference?" She adds, "Any and everybody can and should be involved ... we're just getting started. We're going to fight this disease." Ultimately, the documentary reveals the urgency of the topic and leaves the audience inspired to step-up themselves to make a difference in the trajectory of the epidemic. That, in itself, is a measure of success.

The Diary of Kelly Rowland will air on MTVs around the world on World AIDS Day Monday, December 1 2008.

To view the full documentary, please visit:

For more footage of Kelly's journey, please visit:

CNN interview of Kelly Rowland getting tested for HIV: tested-for-hiv_news

Other MTV programming around World AIDS Day includes:

*** MTV Staying Alive: XPRESS 2008 ***

1-hour documentary - Shot in Brazil, Dominican Republic, Colombia and the USA.

*** MTV Staying Alive: Choices***

1 hour programme, 30 minutes behind scenes - Shot in Jamaica.

*** MTV Staying Alive: Sex Uncovered ***

Series of 20 short spots - 30 to 60-second - shot in Mexico.

In addition to the programming produced for MTV Staying Alive's 10th anniversary and World AIDS Day, the campaign has been involved in a series of other initiatives. A new campaign, Telling It Like It Is ( will launch with Spinvox, to continue to openly and frankly discuss sex and safe sex issues with young people. In addition, a series of specially-created shorts have been commissioned by Staying Alive and Spinvox from the creators of Fur TV which premiere during the 2008 MTV Europe Music Awards on Thursday November 6. Staying Alive has also linked with the M.A.C. AIDS Fund and Rolls Royce on fundraising initiatives, with money raised going to continue to support young people around the world in their pioneering work in raising awareness of HIV and AIDS within their communities.



Launched in 1998, Staying Alive is the world's largest 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 Web content. Staying Alive provides all its television programming rights-free and at no cost to third party broadcasters globally to get crucial prevention messages out to the widest possible audience. The Staying Alive campaign is a partnership between MTV Networks International, the Kaiser Family Foundation, UNAIDS, UNFPA, and UNICEF among others. More information about Staying Alive can be found at MTV Networks International is also an active member of the United Nations-supported Global Media AIDS Initiative (GMAI).


Founded in 2005, The MTV Staying Alive Foundation is a global public charity operating in affiliation with MTV Networks International. Its mission is to empower and support young people who are protecting themselves and their communities against HIV and AIDS. The Foundation donates money and provides grants to youth-led initiatives committed to educating their peers about HIV and AIDS. It is dedicated to fighting stigma and discrimination and empowering young people to protect themselves against the disease. Multi Platform selling artist and founder member of the greatest female group of all time in the history of music, Destiny's Child, Kelly Rowland, is Staying Alive Foundation Ambassador. For more information log onto

About MTV Networks International

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, Neopets, GameTrailers, Shockwave, Addicting Games, Atom Films and Xfire. MTV Networks' brands are seen globally in 561 million households in 162 countries and 33 languages via 170 locally programmed and operated TV channels and more than 350 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).

SOURCE MTV Networks International
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