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FACT: There is an estimated 33 million people living with HIV (30 million-36 million)

What I like about this business is being proven wrong. Sometimes you have a person tapped as one thing, and they turn out to be so much more. That’s certainly the case with Travis McCoy of the alternative hip-hop group Gym Class Heroes. Travis Mccoy, the MTV Staying Alive Special Ambassador, teamed up with Georgia Arnold, Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility, MTV Networks International and Executive Director of the Staying Alive Foundation, to announce plans to travel to South Africa, the Philippines and India to raise awareness about youth driven HIV and AIDS prevention initiatives.

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McCoys’ journey will take place June 13-24, 2009, which will include visits to a number of grassroots HIV prevention projects in South Africa, the Philippines and India. All of which are the 2009 recipients of the Staying Alive Foundation Awards.  As part of the trip, McCoy will be writing a new single inspired by his travels and those he meets along the way. The single is scheduled for release on December 1st, which is World AIDS Day.

McCoy has also set up a dedicated website for the trip www.theunbeatentrack.com, where fans can share his experiences as he moves from one country to another. ***PHOTOS***GYM CLASS HEROES TRAVIS MCCOY TRAVELS TO SOUTH AFRICA, PHILIPPINES AND INDIA TO RAISE HIV/AIDS AWARENESS ***They will be able to hear first hand the facts and stories direct from the young people he meets on his journey including from those running the grass-roots HIV and AIDS prevention projects in their respective countries. Fans will be given the opportunity to submit lyrics to McCoy’s track and compete to have their creative ideas used for the track artwork. McCoy will also post daily updates of his trip on Twitter.

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This is what Travis McCoy had to say about his experience:

It’s an honor for me to be the Ambassador for the Staying Alive Foundation – it’s a cause that’s very close to me. Having lost loved ones and seeing the toll it takes on people affected including the people that love and care for them, it’s important we do whatever can within our power to fight this deadly and rapidly spreading epidemic. I strongly feel the best cure we have at this point is increasing education and building awareness. It’s how we use this information in the choices we make that will determine whether or not our generation will help make a change or ultimately make things worse. I believe that “each one should teach one”, and if my influence on my peers and young ones that look up to me can help decide what music to listen to or what clothes to wear, I hope and pray it will help them to decide to be safe and take their life seriously.

Continue Reading More About HIV/AIDS…

Global Statistics on HIV and AIDS

  • There is an estimated 33 million people living with HIV (30 million-36 million)
  • 2.7 million people are infected with HIV annually
  • An estimated 50% of those 33 million are women (although this % increases dramatically in sub-saharan Africa)
  • Young people ages 15-24 account for an estimated 45% of HIV infections worldwide
  • 6,000 young people, ages 16-24, are infected with HIV everyday
  • Every minute, five people die from AIDS
  • More than 25 million people have died from HIV from 1981
  • For every two people put on treatment, five people become newly infected with HIV
  • South Africa
  • 5.7 million people are living with HIV in South Africa, 2/3’s of which are women.
  • 28% of pregnant women are living with HIV
  • 280,000 children below the age of 15 are living with HIV
  • There are an estimated 1,000 deaths every day due to AIDS: 71% of all deaths of 15-49 yr olds are due to AIDS!
  • India
  • 2.31 million people are living with HIV in India
  • 39% of these 2.31 million are females
  • 3.5% of these 2.31 million are children
  • Infections are mainly prevalent amongst IDUs, men who have sex with men, sex workers and their clients
  • Philippines
  • 8,300 people are living with HIV in the Philippines
  • Only 0.1% of people aged 15-49
  • 27% of these 8,300 are females

ABOUT MTV INTERNATIONAL’S STAYING ALIVE FOUNDATION
Founded in 1994, The MTV Staying Alive Foundation is a global public charity operating in affiliation with MTV Networks International. Its mission is to empower and support young people who are protecting themselves and their communities against HIV and AIDS. The Foundation donates money and provides grants to youth-led initiatives committed to educating their peers about HIV and AIDS. It is dedicated to fighting stigma and discrimination and empowering young people to protect themselves against the disease. For more information log onto www.stayingalivefoundation.org

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