One in two young adults will get a sexually transmitted disease by age 25 — and most won’t even know it. It’s Your (Sex) Life and Get Yourself Tested are MTV’s efforts to combat this problem and help young people make responsible decisions about their sexual health.
Launched in 1997 in partnership with the Kaiser Family Foundation, It’s Your (Sex) Life is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning public information campaign focusing on preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS and other STDs and reducing unintended pregnancy. It delivers its message through PSAs, on-screen bumpers, special programming and promotions, news segments, community partnerships, free informational materials and more. Its website, itsyoursexlife.com, presents extensive, easy-to-understand information about preventing pregnancy, STDs and testing, and relationships and dating abuse.
Get Yourself Tested (GYT) was developed as part of It’s Your (Sex) Life to focus specifically on disease prevention. Since its launch in 2009, it has provided thousands of health centers and organizations with community toolkits filled with promotional and informational materials. Its website, gytnow.org, has attracted more than 4 million visits, providing more than 200,000 referrals to testing locations through findstdtest.org.
And it works. Research done by Planned Parenthood found that there was a 51 percent increase in patients getting tested at 10 of its representative health centers between 2008 (before the campaign began) and 2011.
GYT expanded its reach in 2012 with I’m Positive, a documentary special on MTV exploring what it means to be young and HIV positive in America today. For a generation that has never known a world without HIV/AIDS, the show comes at a critical time in the history of the epidemic, when an AIDS-free future is within reach.
GYT has partnered with some truly amazing individuals who embody the GYT lifestyle and understand the importance of social responsibility and knowing yourself while carving your own unique path in life.
When Paper Twins…are not drinking coffee, working in a coffee shop or dressing alike, they’re busy beautifying Atlanta with their signature wheat paste street art (artwork made from a combination of colored paper, flour and water). Their art brings mystery to their community, since they put up their work throughout the city anonymously at night. Paper Twins believe in using public art to help promote an appreciation of their city and surroundings, viewing the city streets as canvases that they can interact with. As an artistic duo, Paper Twins blend their individual influences and styles to create playful scenes.
“As girls entering the male-dominated realm of street art, instead of posturing and acting tough, we have always stayed true to ourselves, making girly pieces and doing things at our pace. The GYT campaign has a strong message about knowing oneself; we couldn’t agree more with this sentiment.”