MTV helps roll out annual 'GYT' campaign for STD Awareness Month

NEW YORK: MTV and the Kaiser Family Foundation have partnered to support its ongoing "GYT" campaign, a public information push to encourage youngsters to get tested for STDs.

NEW YORK: MTV and the Kaiser Family Foundation have partnered to support an ongoing "GYT" campaign, a public information push to encourage youngsters to get tested for STDs.

The acronym, an attempt to channel online abbreviations such as "LOL" and "OMG," is at the center of the annual campaign, which kicks off April's National STD Awareness Month.

This year's campaign features new initiatives on broadcast outlets, the Web, on the ground at college campuses, and at more than 5,000 health centers and clinics nationwide.

As part of this year's campaign MTV will premiere a new half-hour special, “MTV's Top 10 Most Outrageous Sex Myths” on April 26. The program will feature various celebrities counting down the most common myths about sex and STDs.

The MTV broadcast is just one aspect of a multipronged campaign. PR efforts include GYT PSAs that will run on several MTV channels encouraging viewers to get tested, and a new website. The site will provide basic facts about STDs, including prevention and testing, and talking tips for discussing STDs with partners, parents, and healthcare providers.

The campaign also includes "GYT on Tour," a partnership between GYT and the “Take Action Tour” to deliver its message to 50 cities nationwide, starting in Boston on April 22. GYT representatives will also blanket 5,000 health centers and organizations across the country to provide educational and promotional materials about STDs.

In addition, GYT will be working on messaging with state and local health departments, the National Coalition of STD Directors, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among other organizations.

“Lack of awareness and also shame keep many young people from getting tested for STDs,” said Tina Hoff, VP and director of Kaiser Family Foundation, in a statement.  “GYT is about making smart and healthy decisions that are part of everyday life.”

In an email, MTV said it is handling the campaign in-house, and would not disclose budget information.

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