June 21, 2011
Public and Private Sectors Join to Get Out the Word about HIV Testing
Five-City Concert Series, Free HIV Testing Events, Special Programming and More
Greater Than AIDS and GYT: Get Yourself Tested, two leading national campaigns committed to reducing the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, are teaming up for a second year to encourage Americans to get tested and know their status. In the lead up to National HIV Testing Day (June 27), the scaled-up, month-long cross-promotion brings together major media and leading corporate brands with community organizations and state and local health departments to carry the message on air and on the ground across the nation.
“As we mark 30 years of AIDS, it’s worth noting the tremendous progress made in terms of the life-saving treatments now available, but to benefit from these advances one must first know their status,” said Tina Hoff, Senior Vice President & Director, Health Communication & Media Partnerships, Kaiser Family Foundation, a partner on both campaigns. “Be Greater Than AIDS: Get Yourself Tested is an empowering, uplifting message that makes getting tested an act of pride, not shame.”
“Our audience has never known a time without HIV, but through efforts like GYT, we’re committed to empowering them to forge a world where HIV doesn’t exist,” said Jason Rzepka, Vice President of Public Affairs, MTV. “We’re proud to join with this remarkable coalition and reinforce regular testing as one way America’s youth can be greater than AIDS.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), of the more than one million Americans living with HIV today, one in five of those infected don’t know their status. The CDC encourages all Americans between the ages of 13-64 to get tested on a routine basis as part of their overall health and well-being similar to cholesterol, blood pressure, and other screens.
Elements of the Be Greater Than AIDS: Get Yourself Tested Month promotion include:
“NAPWA founded National HIV Testing Day in 1995,” said National Association of People With AIDS President Frank Oldham, Jr., “because we were already seeing that people with HIV who know their status sooner and start treatment with antiviral drugs sooner live longer, healthier lives. Today, 30 years into the HIV epidemic, there is more and more evidence that people with HIV who get tested every year and start treatment as soon as they know their status are also significantly less likely to infect others. It’s a tremendous win-win: when we know our status and get into treatment, we protect our own health and we protect the ones we love!”
The Greater Than AIDS movement responds to the AIDS crisis in the United States, in particular to the severe and disproportionate epidemic among Black Americans and other heavily affected groups. Through a national media campaign and community outreach, Greater Than AIDS aims to increase knowledge and understanding of HIV/AIDS and confront the stigma surrounding the disease among those most affected. Greater Than AIDS is coordinated by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Black AIDS Institute. Additional financial and substantive support is provided by the Ford Foundation, Elton John AIDS Foundation, MAC AIDS Fund among others. http://www.greaterthan.org
An extension of MTV and the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Emmy and Peabody-winning “It’s Your (Sex) Life” partnership, GYT: Get Yourself Tested campaign, developed with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, STD Division, and Planned Parenthood, focuses on reducing the spread of STDs, including HIV, among people 25 and younger. The GYT campaign includes on-air promotions and programming on MTV, targeted online and mobile information resources and on-the-ground activations. Gilead Sciences, Inc. provides support and resources for select elements of the campaign, including the Be Greater Than AIDS; Get Yourself Tested month. http://www.GYTNOW.org
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