Young people are being encouraged to talk openly about their sexual experiences in an innovative scheme aimed at reducing the stigma that surrounds sexual health.

MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation, SpinVox and Causes on Facebook today announced the launch of their joint campaign, ‘Stand by What You Say’.

Callers to a special phone service are greeted by 2008 Staying Alive Foundation Ambassador Kelly Rowland, who prompts them to leave a message.

Those that speak up are then asked to bolster their support by pledging money to the Staying Alive Foundation, MTV’s HIV and AIDS charity, which allocates grants to youth-led organisations who work to raise awareness on a local, grass-roots level.

“MTV is proud to be a part of this innovative campaign,” said Bill Roedy CEO MTV Networks International.

“It is only by speaking out openly about sex, sexual health and HIV/AIDS, that attitudes can be changed, barriers broken and stigma reduced.

“‘Stand by What You Say’ is the right to talk freely about your first crush, about the craziest place you’ve had sex, about carrying condoms.

“It’s about talking freely about peer pressure to have sex or choosing not to.

“By speaking freely and standing by what you say, we are encouraging young people to take the first step in altering the dynamics of the epidemic.”

The website will be welcomed by LGBT youth groups as it will encourage young people to talk about their feeling with complete anonymity.

“Speaking is the most natural way of communicating,” says Christina Domecq, CEO, SpinVox.

“And although it might be hard initially for someone who is young and naturally shy to speak up about difficult issues around sex and sexuality – those difficult conversations are the ones that are really worth having.

“By speaking freely we can all help each other and break down the feeling that sex and HIV/AIDs is something to feel shy about.”

For more information about the Staying Alive Foundation, visit www.staying-alive.org

Full list of campaign telephone numbers:
UK: 0151 266 7700

US: 1513 729 6417
Canada: 1416 628 8501
Spain: 3493 184 2078
Germany: 4921 123 7061072
France: 3317 666 0863
Ireland: 3531 657 1891