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Public Education Partnerships: MTV: Special Promotions




MTV: It’s Your (Sex) Life Special Promotions

As part of an ongoing commitment to connecting young people to important information about their sexual health, It’s Your (Sex) Life has continued to develop new and innovative ways to reach the ever growing and changing MTV audience. It’s Your (Sex) Life is integrated throughout MTV 360 – appearing in special MTV News Segments, in popular television shows and at mtvU campus concerts. MTV uses all of its platforms and resources to promote It’s Your (Sex) Life and incentivize young people to play an active role in their sex life. Learn more about these efforts below.

MTV News Briefs

Together with MTV News, the Kaiser Family Foundation helps develop multiple It’s Your (Sex) Life news segments to address a variety of sexual health issues and drive viewers to campaign resources. For example, MTV News did a feature following VJ Carlos Santos as he got tested for common STDs, including HIV. Watch the GYT: Get Yourself Tested news segment here.

Integrated Informational Content

It’s You (Sex) Life online and mobile resources have been promoted throughout episodes of MTV’s most popular shows including; The How To Show; Dean’s List; The Real World; Sex with Mom and Dad with Dr. Drew; Pedro: The Movie; MTV’s 16 & Pregnant; and most recently MTV’s Teen Mom. The campaign resources appear on the screen when relevant sexual health topics like pregnancy and STDs come up on the shows. Online, these shows also link to discussion forums and educational materials to help start a dialogue around the sexual health topics that appear in MTV shows. MTV is making the first season of 16 and Pregnant available for educators. To order a copy of the DVD and accompanying discussion guide, click here.


It’s Your (Sex) Life hosts contests, often in partnership with popular artists, to engage audiences more personally in sexual health issues such as the fight against HIV/AIDS.

In 2007 a contest featuring Ludacris centered around World AIDS Day; the grand prize winner attended Nelson Mandela’s 46664 World AIDS Day concert along with Ludacris and kept a blog of her experiences on To read the blog and watch the MTV News brief about the contest, click here.

In 2008, the “A Minute” contest, featuring hip hop artist and actor Common, called for submissions of original lyrics about HIV testing. Out of 2,400 entries, judges picked the lyrics by 18-year-old Jose Rivera from Ewing, Nebraska. Common performed the winning lyrics in a PSA that aired on MTV’s show TRL in conjunction with National HIV Testing Day.

“So you wanna be an MTV News VJ” was a contest that sent one very qualified winner, Tara Bonistall, to Mexico City along with an MTV News crew to cover the International AIDS Confernece in August, 2008. Bonistall reported on conference activities relevant to young people on-air as well as online at and


As extra incentive to get young people to play an active role in their sexual health, It’s Your (Sex) Life hosts sweepstakes.

To encourage people to get tested, a mobile companion to, the GYT short code (498669) provides details about local testing locations to mobile phones by simply texting a zip code. In April 2010, users of the service were eligible to win a trip for two to the 2010 Movie Awards in Los Angeles. Users could also enter the sweepstakes online by using the testing location finder at

In April 2009, MTV offered a trip for two to the 2009 MTV Music Awards hosted by Andy Samberg in Los Angeles, CA. PSAs promoting GYT and the MTV Music Awards sweepstakes ran on MTV properties. Participants were automatically entered to win the sweepstakes when they texted their zip code to SMS code GYT09 (49809) on their mobile phone to find a testing location near them.

In October 2009, GYT teamed up with Seventeen Magazine to reward their readers for getting tested. The sweepstakes sent one lucky winner and her guest to New York City for a live taping of “Its On With Alexa Chung.” Readers who searched for a local STD testing center online or via their mobile phones were automatically entered to win the exclusive trip.

Online Challenges

In April 2010, the GYT Campus Challenge called on young people to commit to getting tested by becoming a fan of GYT and encouraging their friends to do the same. The campus with the largest percentage of their student network to join the GYT Campus Challenge was featured by MTV News Special and highlighted on mtvU. Additionally, MTV awarded each of the top ten recruiters on the winning campus with an all expense-paid trip for two and backstage passes to the Too Fast for Love Tour.

In April 2008, mtvU and the Kaiser Family Foundation, in partnership with POZ Magazine, launched Pos or Not ( — an online interactive experience targeted at young people that confronts HIV-related stigma. Pos or Not challenges stereotypes about who is affected and infected by HIV/AIDS and offers access to information about HIV and HIV testing. Pos or Not recieved a Beacon Award in 2009 in New Media. Check out


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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.