Responding to the fact that one in two young people will get a sexually transmitted disease (STD) by age 25—and most won’t know it—the GYT campaign is a youthful, empowering social movement to reduce the spread of STDs among young people through information; open communication with partners, health care providers, and parents; and testing and treatment as needed.
For a generation accustomed to communicating in shorthand, the GYT acronym presents STD testing in a context that is familiar and relatable to young people. Through GYT’s presence on MTV Networks, the involvement of music and celebrity talent, and special promotions, GYT encourages testing as an act of pride, not shame—and promotes an open dialogue about STDs by encouraging young people to spread the word about the campaign.
Serving as the information hub for the campaign, GYTNOW.org provides the facts on STDs, testing, and protection; talking tips to help young people communicate with their partners, parents, and health care providers; and a testing center locator provided by the CDC. The site also makes it easy for individuals and communities to make the campaign their own, offering tips on what you can do, example success stories, and free GYT materials. Resources specifically for health care providers also address common misconceptions that young people have about STDs and testing.
GYT is developed as part of It’s Your (Sex) Life, a longstanding public information partnership of MTV and the Kaiser Family Foundation, together with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and other national partners, including the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) and the American College Health Association (ACHA). Gilead Sciences, Inc. provides support and resources for select elements of the campaign.
Since 1997, the Kaiser Family Foundation and MTV have partnered on an extensive Emmy and Peabody-Award winning public information campaign to support young people in making responsible decisions about their sexual health. It’s Your (Sex) Life focuses on delaying and reducing sexual activity, talking openly about sexual health issues, using protection, and getting tested for HIV and other STDs. The partnership includes targeted public service ads (PSAs), entertainment and other special programming, news segments, and free informational resources, including an extensive website: www.itsyoursexlife.com.
It provides dynamic leadership that strengthens STD Programs by advocating for effective policies, strategies, and sufficient resources and by increasing awareness of the medical and social impact.
- Be Greater Than AIDS: Get Yourself Tested Week Promotes Free HIV Testing in 10 Cities From June 19 – June 27, 1010 June, 16, 2010
- MTV Asks Audience: Do you GYT? April 6, 2010
- MTV Unwraps GYT: Get Yourself Tested April 2, 2009