MTV, CNN to co-produce HIV-Aids news special

MUMBAI: MTV International and CNN International today announced a first-ever co-production agreement for a 30-minute news special on HIV and Aids called Staying Alive: An MTV and CNN News Special.

This special will premiere on MTV globally on World Aids Day - 1 December and on 27 November on CNN International.

This special will be offered rights free and cost free to all broadcasters worldwide to get HIV/Aids prevention messages out to the widest audience possible. In the US, the programme will air as part of MTV's Fight For Your Rights: Protect Yourself campaign.

In a unique creative approach, local MTV channels and CNN bureaus around the world will work together to jointly produce news segments focusing on how HIV/Aids affects young people in each region.

Segments will be produced featuring local CNN news reporters or MTV VJs in several countries around the world. The special will deal with many different issues related to HIV/Aids, including access to treatment, condom usage, discrimination and rising infection rates, among others. The show will offer viewers the chance to see how the disease touches all people regardless of age, ethnicity, country or socio-economic background.

"This important partnership links MTV's access to a potential audience of one billion people with CNN's outstanding journalism, vast reach and credibility among adult audiences," said MTV Networks International president and UNAIDS ambassador Bill Roedy. As the two largest global television broadcasters, this Staying Alive news special will have unprecedented distribution. I challenge other broadcasters to air this special rights free and at no cost to get crucial HIV/Aids prevention messages out to the largest audience ever this year on World Aids Day and beyond. HIV/Aids is the defining morale issue of our time, and it remains a top priority at MTV to continue to raise awareness and engage others to form their own response to the epidemic.

CNN International senior vice president Rena Golden added, "We are thrilled to be co-producing such an important program geared to provide our joint global audiences with access to vital information that is both relevant and compelling."

"It has been estimated that 38 million people are currently living with HIV/Aids. We firmly believe that education and democratic dissemination of credible information is the key to fighting this epidemic. I echo the challenge for all global broadcasters to deliver this message through the distribution of Staying Alive. We're delighted to be working with MTV on this initiative, and hope this represents the beginning of an enduring partnership."

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