MTV Staying Alive Marks World AIDS Day at the European Parliament

by Phil Jenner, Viacom


Viacom’s Government Relations Team and MTV Staying Alive Foundation marked World AIDS Day 2013 with a special screening of a brand new documentary entitled My Sex Life and Everyone Else’s at the European Parliament in the heart of Brussels to an audience of more than 100 politicians and young Millennials.  The screening, part of a wider campaign launched by MTV Staying Alive and Durex entitled Someone Like Me, was organised to promote discussion within the European institutions about what more can be done to help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in Europe and the rest of the world.

Filmed by 37 young people across the world, the new documentary, airing globally throughout the week of World AIDS Day, was commissioned by MTV Staying Alive to support the organisation’s ambition to empower and mobilise young people to talk about sex in a bid to slow the global HIV/AIDS epidemic.

The event was organised in collaboration with Michael Cashman MEP, one of the founders of UK gay rights charity Stonewall and current Co-President of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights.

Following the screening, Michael chaired a discussion with a panel of experts, including VIMN’s very own Georgia Arnold, Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility and Executive Director of the Staying Alive Foundation, and Céline Danhier, Co-President of Sida’sos, Belgium and grantee of SAF.  Both Georgia and Celine were joined by Pascal Lejeune and Matthias Schuppe from the Education and Culture, and Health Directorates of the European Commission, respectively.

The screening helped the Staying Alive Foundation reach a new audience of activists and lawmakers who will be invaluable allies in the ongoing fight against HIV/AIDS.

“If we hope to turn the HIV epidemic around, we need to empower and mobilize the 1.6 billion 12–24 year olds in the world, we need to get them all talking openly about sex,” says Georgia Arnold. “We’ve sparked a global conversation through our documentary, My Sex Life & Everyone Else’s, and online campaign #Someonelikeme, but now we need to turn these words into action. That’s why I was excited by the opportunity to present this documentary at the European Parliament to a diverse audience of MEPs. The only way we will truly be able to revolutionize sex education for young people, and in turn teach them how to protect themselves against HIV, is to influence the decision-makers at the top. I hope we were able to leave a lasting impression on these MEPs by showing them an intimate and honest view of what young people really thing about sex.”

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