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mtvU, Kaiser Partner For HIV Awareness Competition

University-specific cable channel mtvU has announced a partnership with the Kaiser Family Foundation for a competition aimed to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS among young people in the United States.
mtvU, the North American university-specific cable channel which broadcasts to over 700 campuses and over 6 million students across the country, has announced a partnership with the Kaiser Family Foundation for a competition aimed to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS among young people in the United States. Representatives note that the competition, called the “Change the Course of HIV Challenge”, aims to inspire video game enthusiasts, activists, and students to propose ideas for web-based video game to help raise awareness about HIV/AIDS among 15-24 year olds in the U.S. and to promote personal action in response to the epidemic. More information concerning the contest is available at the official mtvU website. The challenge is open to college students nationwide and the deadline for submissions is March 16, 2007. The winning individual or team will work with mtvU and the Kaiser Family Foundation – which are committing $75,000 to the development and marketing of the game – to see the winning idea realized. The competition follows the success of mtvU-winning political activism game Darfur Is Dying, which was was developed by Susana Ruiz, Ashley York, Mike Stein, Noah Keating and Kellee Santiago of the University of Southern California. Darfur is Dying is a narrative-based simulation where the user, from the perspective of a displaced Darfurian, negotiates forces that threaten the survival of his or her refugee camp. “No undergrad in school today has known a world without HIV/AIDS and a new young person someplace in the world is infected every 15 seconds,” commented Stephen Friedman, mtvU's general manager. “Through this challenge, we hope to inspire college students to use the power of online gaming to engage their peers, re-awaken them to the magnitude of this deadly virus and effect prevention.” Tina Hoff, the vice president and director of Entertainment Media Partnerships at the Kaiser Family Foundation added: “The competition is designed to help us reach young people in a different and engaging way to help inform them about HIV/AIDS and spur action. As HIV remains the great public health challenge of this generation, it’s essential to find new and creative ways to engage and inform young people about the epidemic.”

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